There has been an unusual amount of seismic activity in the Fez region over the last few days. Thankfully none of it destructive. Three earthquakes were recorded on Thursday morning. The first of magnitude 4 on the Richter scale, whose epicentre was in Ain Bida, occurred at 5:29. The second, whose epicentre was in the town of Agdal, occurred at 5:42 and had a magnitude of 3.8
In district of Sidi Boujida, many people took to the streets. "After completing the Fajr prayer in the mosque next door, I returned to the house where the walls of my house started shaking," said a resident.
Local authorities have assured that these shocks caused no casualties or damage. Later the government seismic research institute, the CNRST recorded another quake in Ain Kansra. With a magnitude of 3.8 degrees, it was observed at 11:28.
These earthquakes came only ten days after the first earthquake in Oued Ifrane, in the neighbouring province of Ifrane. With a magnitude of 4.3 degrees on the Richter scale, it was followed by another a few days later in the town of Ain Leuh (3.8 degrees).
|Tectonic plates in Morocco's region|
Morocco is located in a geographical area prone only to moderate seismic activity, but relatively strong earthquakes may occur. One of the factors is the geographic location of the eastern end of the Rif mountain belt, which is part of the diffuse boundary between the African and Eurasian tectonic plates.
As a reminder, February 29, 1960, earthquake with a magnitude of 5.7 degrees in Agadir, had 12,000 victims. More recently, on February 24, 2004 at Imzouren near Al Hoceima, a violent quake of 6.3 degrees killed 629, injured 926 people and left 15,230 homeless.
A history of major Moroccan earthquakes
|Rescue workers pulled children from the rubble up to twelve days after the Agadir quake|
The 1960 Agadir earthquake took place on Monday, February 29th 1960 at 23.47. The death toll from the 6.7 magnitude quake was 12,000. The earthquake was the worst to ever hit Morocco.
Modern-day Agadir was rebuilt a mile (2kms) south of the earthquake epicentre and is now a seaport and seaside resort with a large sandy beach.
The magnitude 6.0 Al Hoceima earthquake of May 26, 1994, injured one person and caused significant damage to adobe buildings.
|A resident of the village of Imzouren, near Al Hoceima, steps over rubble a day after an earthquake, measuring 6.3 on the open-ended Richter scale, hit the region in 2004|
The 2004 Morocco earthquake was a magnitude 6.4 and occurred on 24 February near the coast of northern Morocco. At least 631 people were killed, 926 injured, 2,539 homes destroyed and more than 15,000 people homeless in the Al Hoceima-Imzourene-Beni Abdallah area. The quake was felt from Tetouan to Nador and as far south as Fez. Several aftershocks killed at least three people and destroyed previously weakened buildings.