Cardinal in Morocco Grateful for “outpouring of solidarity” after Deadly Earthquake

Cardinal Cristóbal López Romero. Credit : Daniel Ibanez / CNA

The Archbishop of Rabat in Morocco has expressed gratitude for the “outpouring of solidarity” the people of God in the North African nation have received since the deadly earthquake struck on the night of September 8.

At least 2,900 people have been confirmed dead following the 6.8 magnitude earthquake.

In a Thursday, September 14 report, Cardinal Cristóbal López Romero also called for the coordination of humanitarian services in the country.

“There is an outpouring of solidarity and commitment. Many civil society organizations and the government are doing their utmost to come to the help of these afflicted people,” Cardinal Romero says, and adds, “I sincerely thank the many people who have shown their solidarity.”

According to a BBC News report, the earthquake “struck at 23:11 local time (22:11 GMT) on Friday”, during which “tremors were felt in several areas of the country from Casablanca to Marrakesh, where many buildings have been destroyed or severely damaged.”


Other Moroccan provinces and municipalities affected by the quake included al-Haouz, Marrakesh, Ouarzazate, Azilal, Chichaoua, and Taroudant, the country’s Ministry of Interior has been quoted as saying.

“In Marrakesh, some buildings have collapsed and the damage is particularly severe in parts of the Medina, a Unesco World Heritage site,” the BBC News report indicates, and continues, “Dust could be seen surrounding the minaret of the historic Kutubiyya mosque, a major tourist attraction near the old city's main square, while the historic Jemaa el Fnaa mosque partly collapsed.”

In the September 14 report, Cardinal Romero says aid workers are facing difficulties in aiding some of the affected people because of difficult terrain.

“They are small populations, but many, and in a vast expanse of territory, in highland areas that were already difficult to reach and which now, with the destruction of the roads and the additional difficulties caused by the earthquake itself, are even more difficult to reach,” says the Spanish member of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB).

Lack of proper coordination of the humanitarian aid agencies is also causing a challenge, the Archbishop of Rabat since his Episcopal Ordination in March 2018 says.

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Several personalities and humanitarian agencies have expressed their closeness with Morocco following the earthquake.

In a September 9 telegram message addressed to the victims of the Moroccan earthquake on behalf of the Holy Father, the Vatican Secretary of State said that Pope Francis “expresses his deep solidarity with those who are touched in their flesh and their hearts by this tragedy.”

“Having learned with pain the earthquake that violently struck Morocco, His Holiness Pope Francis wishes to express his prayerful communion in the face of this natural disaster,” said  Pietro Cardinal Parolin.

Christian leaders in Morocco have also expressed “compassion and closeness to the whole country and to all Moroccan families who are in mourning, who have injured family members, who have lost their homes and possessions.”  

“With you, we turn to the one God who is compassionate, merciful,” the Christian leaders said in a Monday,  September 11 statement that church leaders, including Cardinal Romero, Archbishop Emilio Rocha Grande of Tanger Diocese and Karen Smith, President of the  Evangelical Church in Morocco, signed.


They added, “On Sunday, in churches across the country, we prayed for the victims and families in mourning, that God may give them the strength and courage to stand firm and carry on. We will continue to pray that hope may prevail over despair.” 

“May God help us to draw positive consequences from this painful event, by transforming the hearts of all of us into hearts of mercy, solidarity, and tenderness towards all our brothers and sisters, when they are in distress,” the Christian leaders in Morocco said in the statement that Maxim Massalitin of the Orthodox Church and Dennis Chiedu Obidigwu, Anglican Church also signed.

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.