Desperate villagers dug by hand and shovel over the weekend to find survivors amid the rubble of homes destroyed by Morocco’s deadliest earthquake in 60 years. Friday’s disaster killed more than 2,100 people and injured another 2,400. The historic city of Marrakech was heavily damaged, but the death toll was expected to rise significantly as search and rescue crews struggled to reach remote areas in the Atlas Mountains where roads were blocked by fallen rocks.
Class discussion: After an earthquake in 1960 killed at least 12,000 people, Morocco changed its building codes. But, many buildings were not built to withstand such tremors. Can buildings and communities actually be built to survive natural disasters like earthquakes, severe storms and wildfires? Should older and historic buildings be torn down and replaced by disaster-resistant buildings? How old is the building where you live? Should construction be banned in hazardous areas like flood zones?