Morocco on Saturday declared three days of national mourning after a deadly earthquake overnight killed more than 1,000 people, an announcement from the royal palace said.
“Three days of national mourning have been decided, with flags to fly at half-mast on all public buildings,” said a statement published by the official MAP news agency after King Mohammed VI chaired a meeting to discuss the disaster.
The meeting was held after Friday night’s earthquake, the deadliest to hit the North African country in decades, hit southwest of tourist hotspot Marrakesh, killing at least 1,305 people and injuring another 1,832, many of them critically.
After being briefed by officials, the king ordered the immediate establishment of a “commission responsible for the deployment of an emergency rehabilitation and aid program on rebuilding destroyed housing in disaster areas” and “the care of distressed people, particularly orphans and the vulnerable.”
He also ordered that “accommodation, food and all other basic needs” be made available to those who needed it, as well as the establishment of a special account at the central bank for aid donations.