Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Morocco Mobilises Against Cold Weather

Morocco is suffering from a sudden onset of extreme cold weather and in response considerable human and logistical support has been mobilised to alleviate the impact of the cold wave 

Around 5,000 people, including physicians, nurses and state and local authorities agents have been marshalled as part of this operation. On Sunday two field hospitals staffed by the Royal Armed Forces have been set up in the central provinces of Azilal (M'semir rural commune) and Tinghir (Ouaouizeght rural commune).

In addition, the Health Ministry established a mobile hospital in the province of Midelt (Boumia rural commune).

Nine helicopters, seven belonging to the Royal Gendarmerie and two from the Health Ministry have been placed on standby to support intervention teams in emergency evacuations and for airlifting foodstuffs to landlocked villages.

The Interior Ministry has also deployed 757 ambulances provided by the Health Ministry, the civil rescue department and local authorities, it said, adding that 142 health centres will be operational to receive patients from cold wave-struck villages.

A central command post has been set up at the Interior Ministry's Watch and Coordination centre to monitor the situation and coordinate interventions. In addition, other command posts were activated in the concerned prefectures and provinces to take the need measures to ensure the security of citizens and their properties.

As a precaution, measures were taken to secure medicines stocks, mainly for children and the elderly. Also, 336 homeless people were admitted in shelters to protect them against the cold wave, while student residences, boarding schools, hospitals, health centres and orphanages were provided with additional blankets.

Abundant snow falls are expected in several regions from Sunday to Wednesday. In Fez temperatures will drop as low as 3 or 4 degrees Celsius.

House Collapse

In addition, the recent rain has caused more house collapses in Fez. This morning a pregnant woman was injured when the ceiling of her house in the suburb of Bendebab collapsed on top of her. Initial reports say she received head injuries, possibly a broken jaw and some back injuries. She is expected to make a full recovery.

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