A cold wave has affected Morocco on Saturday 27 February 2016, caused by a polar air mass flow passing from the North Pole to Europe and North Africa, and has generated westerly winds that has brought extreme and exceptionally low temperatures as per the Communications Department at the National Directorate of Meteorology.
The regions of the Middle Atlas and the north of the High Atlas and the neighbouring plains witnessed severe thunderstorms, while significant snow fell over the High and Middle Atlas, the Rif and the highlands of eastern Morocco...
Given the severity of the situation, local authorities and relevant departments have mobilized all human and material resources and have been operating since Friday to assist the most affected population. The Moroccan Red Crescent was among the first responders to bring help to the most affected people. Details of the operations carried out so far is described in the next section.
Through this DREF, the Moroccan Red Crescent will intervene in three regions to assist 1,500 families (7,500 beneficiaries) providing food and non-food items to the most affected women, men boys and girls. Those regions heavily affected by the cold wave are: Oriental, Tadla Azilal and in four localities in Fes Taza. (IFRC, 3 Mar 2016)
As a result of the exceptional weather conditions, several illnesses have been recorded among affected communities including rheumatism, flu, cough, throat pain, and skin conditions – mainly caused by the lack of suitable clothes to protect from the cold. Moroccan Red Crescent has been offering medical consultations at its health posts and so far, more than 3,000 people have benefited from these services. (IFRC, 31 Mar 2016)