Rescuers on Monday faced a growing race against time to dig any survivors from the rubble of devastated villages in Morocco’s Atlas mountains, three days after the massive earthquake that killed more than 2,100 people. Moroccan authorities have accepted aid offers from Spain, Britain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Follow our liveblog for the latest updates. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).
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4:15am: Morocco accepts aid from four countries
Rabat says it has accepted aid offers from four foreign nations, while many other countries have also said they are willing to send assistance.
Authorities have responded favourably “at this stage” to offers from Spain, Britain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates “to send search and rescue teams”, the interior ministry said.
It noted the foreign teams were in contact with Moroccan authorities to coordinate efforts, and said only four offers had been accepted because “a lack of coordination could be counterproductive”.
Other offers may be accepted in the future “if the needs evolve”, according to the ministry. France was willing to provide aid “the second” Morocco requested it, President Emmanuel Macron said Sunday.
1:10am: Amid aftershocks and uncertainty, volunteers join disaster relief efforts
FRANCE 24 journalist Luke Shrago reported on the aftershocks Marrakesh experienced on Sunday and the solidarity he witnessed among citizens.
“Morocco has this huge tradition of warmly welcoming people, and that has shown, particularly in how people are volunteering to help out,” he said.
A blood drive outside the city centre usually gets about 140 people a day volunteering to donate blood. This Sunday, they had 5- 6 thousand people showing up, with “queues right down the road [and] massive crowds of people”, said Shrago.
Key developments from Sunday, September 10:
The death toll from Friday’s devastating earthquake in Morocco’s Atlas mountains rose to more than 2,100, with over 2,400 people injured, many of them seriously, according to official figures updated late on Sunday.
Thousands of people slept in the streets of Marrakech for a third straight night as soldiers and international aid teams in trucks and helicopters began to fan into remote mountain towns hit hardest by the 6.8 magnitude earthquake.
Moroccan authorities declared three days of national mourning.
(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP, Reuters)