MARRAKECH, Morocco—The death toll from the major Sept. 8 earthquake in Morocco has approached 3,000 as first responders continue attempts to rescue people from the rubble. Send Relief leaders and partners are on the ground, meeting needs and assessing a long-term response.
“We are praying for the people of Morocco and for the ongoing rescue and relief efforts,” said Paul Chitwood, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board. “I’m especially grateful for Send Relief’s international relief team, who are already on site and working with local partners responding quickly to meet needs and share hope.”
Jason Cox, Send Relief’s vice president of international ministry, diverted from the international Serve Tour stop in Athens, Greece, to be with partners in Morocco. He has witnessed the devastation firsthand, distributed food and water, and conducted village-by-village assessments for Send Relief’s long-term recovery efforts.
Cox and a small team of partners visited a village in the Atlas Mountains. As they journeyed to survey the damage, they were met by a group who had come from the summit.
“At the bottom of the hill, we were told not to come up. There’s no one left alive here,” Cox said in a video released by Send Relief. “We came up anyway, and there were some men at the top of the hill who welcomed us and received the relief supplies we were able to give to them.”
Concrete buildings have been flattened, and entire villages like the one Cox visited were ruined in an instant when the 6.8-magnitude tremor hit in the middle of the night.
“In the moments after the earthquake, partners of Send Relief on the ground were able to respond quickly,” Cox said. “There will not be a quick recovery from something like this, though.”
Through its partners on the ground in Morocco, Send Relief is committed to facilitating a long-term recovery plan for as many people as possible, he noted.