Rutte and royals express concerns for Moroccan quake victims

A woman stands in front of her earthquake damaged house Photo: Fadel Senna / AFP

The Dutch royal family and caretaker prime minister Mark Rutte have expressed their concern for victims of a devastating earthquake that has hit Marrakesh in Morocco.

The magnitude 6.8 quake, which hit southern Morocco overnight on Friday, has killed more than 1,300 people according to Moroccan authorities. It is the worst earthquake since 2004, and its epicentre was under the High Atlas Mountains, where the most casualties occurred.

Rutte said on social media: “Terrible news coming in about the devastating earthquake that hit Morocco. My thoughts are with the many victims of this disaster and with the local emergency services.”

Dutch king Willem-Alexander and queen Máxima posted that their “thoughts are with the families of the victims in Morocco and with the many Netherlands who are in fear for their loved ones.”

The Dutch government has pledged to donate €5 million for the emergency effort and the cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam have said they will give a euro per resident to help earthquake victims.

There are 178,000 people in the Netherlands who were born in Morocco and another 189,000 people with one or more parents born there, according to CBS statistics office.

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