Morocco Earthquake

Recent news on September 8th shook the world as Morocco experienced a powerful 6.8 magnitude earthquake. This devastating event left a significant impact, and in this article, we will delve into the various aspects surrounding the Morocco earthquake, including its causes, consequences, and geographical context.

This topic of “Morocco Earthquake” is important from the perspective of the UPSC IAS Examination, which falls under General Studies Portion.

The Earthquake’s Highlights

6.8 Magnitude Earthquake

On that fateful day, a 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Morocco, sending shockwaves throughout the region.

Epicenter in High Atlas Mountains

The epicenter of the earthquake was located in the High Atlas Mountains, precisely 71 kilometers south-west of Marrakesh. This seismic event spanned across not only Morocco but also reached neighboring countries such as Algeria and Tunisia. It occurred to the south of the Eurasia and Africa (Nubia) tectonic plate boundary.

Geological History

The High Atlas Mountains, where the earthquake originated, have a rich geological history. They were formed during the breakup of the Pangea supercontinent and exhibit actively rising characteristics, with high peaks and steep slopes.


Death Toll

Tragically, this earthquake led to a substantial loss of life, with the death toll reaching a staggering 2,862 individuals.

Understanding How It Happened

Morocco’s Seismic Propensity

Morocco’s seismic propensity, while significant in this instance, is relatively low when compared to countries like Turkey and Syria. This disparity can be attributed to the limited intersection of tectonic plates within the region.

Past Seismic Event

The earthquake harkens back to the memory of the 1960 Agadir earthquake, which caused significant damage and a loss of life, serving as a reminder of the seismic risks inherent in the area.

Atlas Mountains and Subterranean Movement

The steep slopes and straight crust lines in the Atlas Mountains indicate recent subterranean movement. The rate of this movement, approximately 1 millimeter per year, stems from the convergence of the Eurasian and African plates, which results in a squeezing action and the creation of some of the world’s tallest mountains along the southern edge.

Earthquake Characteristics

The Morocco earthquake is a result of the reverse fault phenomenon, where tectonic plates collide, causing the Earth’s crust to thicken. This thickening creates stress, which ultimately induces earthquakes as rocks shift to release accumulated stress, forming a seismic fault feature. The 6.8 magnitude suggests a fault length of approximately 30 kilometers.

Where It Occurred

Morocco’s Location

Morocco, situated in North Africa, was the primary location affected by this earthquake.

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