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Is Traveling to Morocco Safe Amid Recent Earthquake?

The FCDO’s Latest Travel Advisory

Morocco after earthquake? As of 13th September, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) has issued a travel advisory regarding Morocco, cautioning against involvement in rescue efforts following a significant earthquake near Marrakech on 8th September 2023. The earthquake, measuring 6.8 in magnitude, has raised concerns about aftershocks, prompting travelers to stay informed and follow local guidance.

Aftershocks Warning: Stay Informed and Comply with Local Authorities

The FCDO’s advisory emphasizes the possibility of aftershocks and advises travelers to heed local authorities and monitor local media for updates. Furthermore, it highlights the potential disruptions to life-saving operations caused by unauthorized access to affected areas or unpermitted assistance efforts.


Sustained Aftershocks: USGS Insights

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) predicts that the region may experience “smaller aftershocks” in the weeks ahead. These tremors, although below their detection threshold, could still be felt, further adding to the urgency of staying informed and adhering to safety measures.

Reassurance from French Travel Tour Operators

The SETO group, representing 70 major French travel tour operators, has reported that none of its clients have suffered due to the earthquake in Marrakech. This positive update offers some reassurance to travelers considering visits to Morocco.

Impact Zones: Central Morocco Bear the Brunt

The earthquake’s epicenter in the Atlas Mountains has had the most severe impact on central Morocco. Remote mountain villages, challenging to access, have seen concentrated rescue efforts. USGS reports note the shallow depth of the event and its proximity to populated areas, which have contributed to catastrophic building failures.

Marrakech: Historic Medina Hit

Marrakech, Morocco’s fourth-largest city and a popular tourist destination, has witnessed damage and collapses, particularly in the historic medina. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, these historic structures were not constructed with earthquake resilience in mind. Additionally, reports indicate that tourists in the Atlas Mountains have resorted to sleeping in the streets due to the disaster.

Limited Impact on Other Tourist Areas

While tremors reached as far as Spain and Portugal, several other Moroccan destinations remain relatively unaffected. Popular resort locations such as Agadir and Essaouira experienced minor building damage. Major cities like Casablanca, Tangier, and Rabat in the north of Morocco reported no significant earthquake damage.

Marrakech Airport Operations Continue

Despite damage in Marrakech, the airport has maintained flight operations, even immediately after the earthquake. Airlines have been closely monitoring the situation to ensure passenger safety.

Airlines’ Response: Options for Passengers

Several airlines, including EasyJet and British Airways, have accommodated passengers’ concerns by adding extra capacity and allowing free date changes for travelers to and from Marrakech before 24th September. Air France has also offered free modifications for flights planned to or from Morocco in the coming days. TUI and EasyJet have assured travelers that their schedules remain normal, emphasizing the importance of following authorities’ advice and checking flight statuses before travel.

Plan Your Morocco Travel with Confidence

As Morocco navigates the aftermath of the recent earthquake, travelers can find reassurance in the coordinated response efforts, limited impact on many tourist destinations, and airlines’ flexibility in accommodating passenger concerns. Staying informed and heeding official guidance can help ensure a safe and confident travel experience.

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