A massive 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Morocco Friday night.
According to Morocco’s Interior Ministry, more than 2,000 people have died. Also, more than 2,000 others are injured and countless buildings have been destroyed.
The ministry said most of the damage occurred outside of cities and towns. Search and rescue teams searched for survivors trapped in the debris throughout the night.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said the 6.8 earthquake struck around 11:15 p.m. local time, lasting several seconds. A 4.9 magnitude aftershock hit 20 minutes later.
The epicenter was about 40 miles south of Marrakesh, but the quake shook residents of the city from their beds. Families fled to parks and open spaces.
The USGS said that earthquakes are rare in that part of North Africa and many structures were untested. Since 1900, USGS said no earthquakes of this magnitude have been recorded within 300 miles of the area.
Moroccan media reported some of the city’s ancient buildings, including the 12th-century Koutoubia Mosque, were damaged. The airport was already jammed as many tried to get out of a major tourist destination.