Map shows where deadly earthquake hit in Morocco

The earthquake’s epicentre was near the town of Ighil in Al Haouz Province (Pictures: Getty/Metro)

Morocco was hit by a devastating earthquake on Friday and its effects are still being felt throughout the country.

The epicentre of the tremor was near the town of Ighil in Al Haouz Province, in the Atlas Mountains, roughly 43 miles south of Marrakech.

This is an unusual area to experience an earthquake, experts say, as previous quakes have taken place further north, closer to a tectonic plate.

‘The Atlas Mountains are a zone of weakness within Morocco with a very long geological history,’ structural geologist from Australia’s Curtin University Chris Elders told Al Jazeera.

He explained: ‘Stresses build up in those areas. Africa is moving north towards Europe, and that is what caused the earthquake to occur in this particular area.’

Marrakesh, Morocco’s fourth-largest city, has seemingly been badly affected with images emerging of decimated buildings.

This is a worry for many historians and architects as the city’s old town is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Hundreds slept near Jeema El Fna square last night (Picture: EPA)

Rescue workers search for survivors in a collapsed house in Moulay Brahim, Al Haouz province (Picture: AFP via Getty)

Al Haouz Province has been the worst hit, with rescuers struggling to get to trapped survivors in some rural areas.

The provinces of Ouarzazate, Azilal, Chichaoua and Taroudant have also been especially afflicted.

Rabat, Morocco’s capital, felt the 6.8 magnitude earthquake despite being 220 miles north of the epicentre – the distance between Portugal and Algeria.

Aftershocks were reported in Marrakesh today, where many people chose to sleep on the streets overnight because they were scared of being indoors when fresh tremors occurred.

At least 2,012 people have died and 2,059 have been injured but these figures are expected to continue rising.

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Other families are trapped in the rubble with rescuers struggling to get to any survivors, especially in the hardest-hit areas where roads are completely blocked by debris.

Locals have come together to try and help those stuck under fallen buildings with some reportedly sorting through rubble with just their hands.

The quake was the biggest to hit Morocco in 120 years, and toppled buildings and walls in ancient cities made from stone and masonry not designed to withstand quakes.

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