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GEM’s Contribution: Insights into Morocco's 6.8 Magnitude Earthquake


Sep 29, 2023

Following the devastating 6.8 magnitude earthquake that heavily affected Morocco on September 8, 2023, the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) was able to use models from its global inventory, together with shaking data from the USGS’s ShakeMap repository, to estimate the impacts in the immediate aftermath.

Using GEM's Moroccan Earthquake Risk Model, in the day after the event, GEM  provided a glimpse of the disaster's toll, with an initial assessment of approximately 2,300 lives lost, 20,000 completely damaged buildings and a staggering 270,000 people left homeless in its wake. In the following days, with the support from the USGS, GEM incorporated ShakeMap data in the loss assessment, which led to increased estimates with at least 4000 lives lost.

The information furnished by GEM proved invaluable in gauging the spatial extent of the catastrophe's impact. As part of GEM’s role in the ARISTOTLE partnership, this data found immediate value in the efforts of the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) of the European Commission and the Union Civil Protection Mechanism, facilitating informed decision-making for humanitarian aid initiatives.

The inclusion of comprehensive, real-time insights, such as those provided by USGS’s PAGER system, by satellite-based damage assessments or by the analysis performed with GEM's global models is of critical importance to guide effective disaster response and recovery actions.

For those interested in exploring the maps generated by ERCC to visualize the earthquake's impact, they are accessible via the following links:

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