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Why was the Morocco earthquake so deadly?

Rescue team members work among the rubble of a collapsed building.

Collapsing buildings have been responsible for many of the casualties in the Morocco earthquake. Credit: Mohamed Messara/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

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Updates & Corrections

  • Clarification 13 September 2023: This article has been updated to make clear that the 1,739 historical earthquakes did not all happen in Morocco, but their activity was felt there.

  • Update 14 September 2023: This article was updated on 14 September with additional information from researchers in Morocco.


  1. Peláez, J. A. et al. Seismol. Res. Lett. 78, 614–621 (2007).

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