MOROCCO – In the tourist city of Marrakesh, the minaret of the Kharbouch mosque has collapsed, and the historic Jewish Mellah quarter has been extensively damaged. Many other famous tourist destinations in Morocco share the same fate.
Marrakesh, a 1,000-year-old ancient city with many structures listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, has suffered significant damage in the strongest earthquake to hit Morocco to date. In the photo is the Kharbouch Mosque located at the famous Jemaa el-Fna square in Marrakesh. The minaret of the mosque was completely destroyed in the 6.8-magnitude earthquake on September 8. Photo: Reuters.
The earthquake has also caused significant cracks in the iconic Koutoubia minaret of Marrakesh. In the photo, Eric Falt, the UNESCO Regional Director for Africa, is assessing the condition of the minaret and other heritage sites in Marrakesh after the earthquake. The Koutoubia Mosque is one of the top tourist attractions and is considered a “must-visit landmark in any walking tour of the historic Medina district.” Photo: Twitter/Audrey Azoulay.
Eric Falt conducting a survey of the historic Medina district in Marrakesh after the earthquake. One of the most severely affected areas is the Mellah quarter, home to the Jewish community. Photo: AFP.
A resident walks past a 900-year-old wall that has been damaged in the historic Medina district. Photo: AP.
The narrow alleyways in the historic Medina district are now filled with rubble. According to Tripadvisor, strolling through the Medina (the name for the historic walled districts) and wandering the clean and ancient cobblestone streets is “one of the fascinating experiences.” These streets are home to souvenir shops, eateries, and artisan workshops serving tourists. The Medina district in Marrakesh is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is currently in ruins after the earthquake. Photo: Reuters.
The earthquake has also nearly completely destroyed the Tinmal Mosque (pictured), dating back to the 12th century, which is one of the country’s most important historical monuments located in the High Atlas Mountains. Photo: CNN.
A woman walks past the rubble in the Jewish village of Amizmiz, located 60 km from Marrakech, amidst the olive groves of the High Atlas Mountains. This area is known for its majestic mountain landscapes and rich vegetation. Most of the villagers are involved in pottery making. Before the earthquake, the village used to host a weekly market where local handicrafts were displayed and sold. Photo: Washington Post.
A minaret in a village mosque in Moulay Brahim shows extensive cracks and could collapse at any time. Moulay Brahim is a village perched on a hill at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, 50 km from Marrakesh. It is a famous destination for tourists and followers of Islam. Every year, thousands of pilgrims from around the world visit the tomb of Moulay Brahim, a renowned figure in Morocco. Photo: AP.
A hotel in Moulay Brahim village was damaged by the earthquake. Before the disaster, villagers earned extra income by selling souvenirs, religious items, food, and accommodations to tourists, in addition to farming. It is believed that it will be a long time before tourists return to the area. Photo: AP.
Tagadirt is a small town nestled in the High Atlas Mountains at an altitude of 1,300 meters. To reach here, tourists have to navigate winding mountain roads, cross barren deserts, and finally arrive in a small valley with lush green olive trees. Around 300 people live in the village, and the earthquake caused most of the houses to collapse, with at least 17 people killed. The villages near the High Atlas Mountains were among the hardest-hit areas due to their proximity to the epicenter. Photo: El Pais.