Rabat - Morocco has faced 96 big natural disasters between the years 1960 to 2014 in more than 300 cities, according to a new report by the High Council of Accounts published on Monday.
Rabat – Morocco has faced 96 big natural disasters between the years 1960 to 2014 in more than 300 cities, according to a new report by the High Council of Accounts published on Monday.
The number of disasters increased four-fold between the years 1980 and 2000 and spiked 22-fold during the period between 2000 and 2014, the report, titled “Evaluation of Natural Disaster Management in Morocco,” said, according to Medias24.
Water or water scarcity-related disasters caused the most damage to Moroccans, their property and their livelihoods, as the kingdom has suffered from several floods and droughts, as well as heat waves and cold waves over the examined time period.
In recent decades, Al Hoceima, Agadir and the cities’ surrounding regions have been especially prone to earthquakes. During February 2004, the ground under Al Hoceima shook at a force of 6.3 on the Richter scale and in September 2014, Agadir faced a quake at an intensity of 5.7 on the seismic scale.
Al Hoceima’s 2004 catastrophe led to the deaths of 564 people, the Interior Ministry’s death toll says. The scale of the loss of life during the quake and the aftermath of the floods in Southern Morocco in 2014 shows the government’s weak disaster relief efforts – based primarily on “reactive” solutions, instead of “proactive” planning, the authors of the report said.
“[The two disasters] demonstrate the shortages in basic infrastructure and the shortcomings in the management of natural disasters on the institutional, technical and organizational level,” it said.
The report points out that state construction budgets have previously not allocated funds for risk prevention from earthquakes, floods and other disasters.
The council also said government forces have “failed’ to take advantage of the MnhPRA program (Morocco Natural Hazards Probabilistic Risk Assessment), which analyzes communities and properties that could be at risk from an upcoming disaster and estimates the financial implications of a future hit.
“Despite the fact that this system has been spread widely between the actors involved [in disaster management] through the organization of training sessions, it seems that most of the departments that the High Council of Accounts visited have not exploited it,” the report said.