After an estimated 2,900 Moroccans died in the recent earthquake that hit Marrakech, the North African country known for its breathtaking scenery and popularity with tourists is fighting back as it goes through a major rebuilding process.
The powerful earthquake in the high Atlas Mountains that caused such terrible damage to local villages and the historic city of Marrakesh was not the first major earthquake in Morocco. In 1960, a magnitude 5.8 earthquake leveled the resort town of Agadir, killing over 12,000 people and leaving 35,000 homeless.
A week after that disaster, King Mohammed of Morocco visited the site. He pledged that the city would be rebuilt by 1961.
Morocco is a popular tourist destination and Marrakesh was considered by many to be the crown jewel of this North African nation.
6.8 EARTHQUAKE KILLS OVER 1,000 PEOPLE IN MOROCCO, CONTINUED
It is also a former imperial city known for its many palaces, gardens and mosques.
About seven hours from New York, the country sits just across the Strait of Gibraltar and is easily accessible from Europe.
Cruise ships and ferries sail from various European ports to Casablanca and Tangier.
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Casablanca, of course, needs no introduction. Made famous in 1942 by an American film starring Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine, owner of ‘Rick’s Café Américain’.
Tourists enjoy the hustle and bustle of Casablanca’s street markets and restaurants.
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However, the most important site in Casablanca, for locals and visitors alike, is the great Hassan II Mosque. It is the largest operating mosque in Africa. It attracts huge crowds and impresses with its beauty as much as its size.
The port of Tangier, perched on the shores of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean, is a unique city that carries a multicultural heritage.
Tangier takes tourists back in time through the maze of narrow streets of the historic Medina and Casbah.
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Located near the top of Africa, Morocco is full of historical sites, but is still vulnerable to geological and climatic hazards such as earthquakes, floods and drought. Unfortunately, hard times befell this ancient country again, this time striking picturesque Marrakesh and the surrounding areas.