A Massive Earthquake Leaves Morocco’s Ancient Buildings in Ruin

The Medina of Marrakesh, Morocco was left in ruins after an earthquake stuck the ancient section of the city. Among the buildings damaged by the quake, which had a magnitude of 6.8, was the mosque that stood in Jemaa el-Fna square, CNN reported Sunday. The mosque’s tower, once a symbol of beauty for the hundreds of people who work the Medina’s bustling marketplace, lies unrecognizably in a pile of bricks and rubble while the mosque has closed its doors to the public.

The earthquake hit Marrakesh just after 11 p.m. on Friday night. And, while the modern sections of Marrakesh were left unscathed, the red sandstone wall that encircles the centuries-old medina and once protected the historical city has crumbled to the ground in large parts. 

Some buildings within the medina have collapsed, CNN reported, while large sections of the city have been roped off to prevent people being injured should more old buildings collapse. By Sunday morning the area was peppered with stacks of rubble as the cleanup had gone underway. 

The earthquake’s epicenter was in the High Atlas mountains. Despite the fear and havoc the disaster caused in historic Marrakesh, the modern city was still bustling on Sunday.

The Medina has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985.