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Dalai Lama Offers Condolences, Pledges Financial Support after Catastrophic Earthquake in Morocco

Photo by Tenzin Choejer. From

His Holiness the Dalai Lama has written to the prime minister of Morocco to share his condolences at the devastating loss of life after the North African nation was rocked by a deadly magnitude 6.8 earthquake late on Friday.

The Tibetan spiritual leader also offered a pledge that funds would be donated by the Gaden Phodrang Foundation of the Dalai Lama in support of rescue and relief efforts on the ground.

According to the latest data at the time of writing, the death toll from the earthquake and aftershock that struck near the tourist city of Marrakesh, has now reached at least 2,497 people, with 2,476 known to be injured, according to figures from state media.


In his letter to Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch, dated 11 September, His Holiness stated:

“I offer my condolences to Your Excellency, the families of those who have lost loved ones and pray for all those affected by this great tragedy.

I am aware that your government is doing everything it can to provide support to help the rescue and relief efforts in the quake zones. It is also heartening that the international community is sending aid following the earthquake.

As a token of my solidarity with the people of Morocco affected by this tragedy, I have asked the Gaden Phodrang Foundation of the Dalai Lama to make a donation towards the rescue and relief efforts.

(His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet)

The earthquake, the country’s deadliest in 60 years, struck Morocco after 11 p.m. local time on 8 September, according to readings from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), some 72 kilometers southwest of Marrakesh. Tremors were reported to have been felt throughout the country of 34.4 million people.

The USGS said that Friday’s quake was Morocco’s deadliest since 1960, when an estimated 12,000 people were killed, and the most powerful since at least 1900.


According to the humanitarian and development agency Islamic Relief, Morocco’s infrastructure and health systems have been significantly impacted by the quake, with hospitals and clinics suffering severe structural damage. Blocked and damaged road networks have hampered emergency services and heavy lifting equipment from reaching affected communities, forcing responders to rely on helicopter transportation where available.

Rescue teams are now racing against the clock to find survivors days after the earthquake hit Morocco. Many Moroccans have been sleeping out in the open, their homes either destroyed or rendered unsafe.

The Moroccan government is reported to have so far accepted offers of search-and-rescue assistance from four countries: Britain, Spain, Qatar, and the UAE. The European Commission announced today that it would provide €1 million (US$1.07 million) in initial funding to support relief efforts.

The North African country’s cultural heritage has also been impacted, reports indicate, including historic buildings in Marrakesh old city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as the 12th-century Tinmel Mosque, which sits in in a remote mountain area near to the epicenter of the temblor.

See more

His Holiness Sends Condolences and Offers Support Following Earthquake in Morocco (His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet)
Gaden Phodrang Foundation of the Dalai Lama
2023 Morocco Earthquake Disaster Brief (ReliefWeb)
Rescuers race to find survivors over 48 hours after Morocco earthquake (Reuters)
Morocco earthquake death toll rises to nearly 2,500 (BBC News)
What we know three days after Morocco’s devastating earthquake (Al Jazeera)

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