Morocco

Floods killed 28 people in Morocco

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Unprecedented floods that hit several parts of Morocco last week killed twenty-eight people and caused major damage, Interior Minister, Chakib Benmoussa reported.

Unprecedented floods that hit several parts of Morocco last week killed twenty-eight people and caused major damage, Interior Minister, Chakib Benmoussa reported.

Speaking at a question time of the House of Representatives (Lower house), Wednesday, Benmoussa underlined that prevention measures helped reducing human and material losses.

Eleven people died in Nador (North east) after being swept away by flood waters from the Kirt river, which peaked at 2,400 cubic metres per second, while six others, belonging to the same family, died following the collapse of their house's roof in Taza, he said.

In the Oriental region (eastern Morocco), six people were swept away by floods while five others have been identified in the city of Tangiers, Benmoussa went on to say, recalling that 200 houses and 2 bridges collapsed in the province of Nador and Al Hoceima (both North east ).

Floodwaters also submerged several homes, public premises and the two industrial zones of Tangiers, Benmoussa said, noting that several regional and national roads were closed, while water and electricity supply was disrupted in some areas.

Since the National Weather forecast services issued the first warning bulletin, a committee has been established by the Ministry of Interior, in cooperation with various sectors concerned, to coordinate with provincial and local relief committees, the Minister added.

Recalling that Morocco has pooled efforts in a large-scale operation to relieve the flood-stricken populations, Benmoussa underlined that some 10,000 blankets and 7,000 food rations have been distributed so far, while a 1,000 flood-stricken families have been provided shelter.

The minister, who commanded the good conditions in which relief efforts took place, said his department has earmarked an emergency budget to address the needs of the population, provide support for families who lost their homes, and bankroll maintenance and cleaning operations in several cities.

On flood-stricken populations in rural areas, Benmoussa stressed that the government has decided to increase the budget allotted to the rural development fund to restore livestock, repair rural irrigation networks, support agricultural activities and reopen rural roads.