At least 296 people have died after a magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck Morocco.
The quake occurred shortly after 11 p.m. local time. People fled buildings and waited on the streets of Marrakech for aftershocks.
The US Geological Survey preliminarily said the earthquake measured 6.8 on the Richter scale at 11:11 p.m. local time.
The shaking reportedly lasted several seconds.
19 minutes later, an aftershock measuring 4.9 was recorded.
According to the Geological Survey, the epicenter of the quake was in the Atlas Mountains.
Officials are continuing to assess the extent of the damage.
The Moroccan Interior Ministry said early Saturday morning local time that at least 296 people had died and feared the number would rise.
Another 153 people were injured and treated in local hospitals.
The ministry also said most of the damage occurred outside cities.
But buildings and historic landmarks in cities like Marrakesh have been reduced to rubble.
According to the information, the red walls around the city, which have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, were damaged CBS News.
When the quake struck, people fled restaurants and buildings.
As residents and tourists gathered after the quake, dust could be seen on cars.
It was reported that after the first quake, people waited on the streets rather than retreating indoors in case it was unsafe.
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