The United States President Joe Biden has sympathized with the victims of the Morocco earthquake.
Biden sent his condolences to the Moroccans and their monarch, King Mohammed VI, in a statement he issued on Saturday.
According to the US president, his administration is working to salvage US citizens from the crisis as well as Moroccans.
Biden said he was “deeply saddened by the loss of life and devastation caused by the earthquake in Morocco.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with all those impacted by this terrible hardship,” the president said.
“My administration is in contact with Moroccan officials. We are working expeditiously to ensure American citizens in Morocco are safe, and stand ready to provide any necessary assistance for the Moroccan people.
“The United States stands by Morocco and my friend King Mohammed VI at this difficult moment.”
A rare and powerful 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck Morocco late Friday night and killed at least 1,037 people in the country’s strongest quake in more than a century, according to Morocco’s Interior Ministry.
The US Geological Survey recorded the quake had 6.8-magnitude when it hit at 11:11 p.m. locally, with shaking that lasted several seconds. Morocco’s National Seismic Monitoring and Alert Network measured it at 7 on the Richter scale. The US agency reported a 4.9-magnitude aftershock hit 19 minutes later, according to ABC News.
Marrakech has a population of almost a million people, a popular tourist destination known for its historic palaces. Marrakech hosted the 2016 United Nations Climate Change Conference.
The death toll in the earthquake near Marrakech has reached 1,037, according to the Associated Press. More than 1,204 others are injured, 721 of whom are injured critically.
Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has ordered the armed forces to mobilize air and land assets, specialized search and rescue teams and a surgical field hospital.
However, the Moroccan government has not formally asked for assistance, which is required for outside rescue teams to be deployed, according to AP.