UN disaster team arrives in quakehit Morocco to coordinate relief effort

A six-member United Nations Disaster and Coordination Assessment (UNDAC) team has arrived in Morocco to provide help after an earthquake yesterday killed at least 550 people near the northern port city of Al Hoceima.The UNDAC experts will support the efforts of the Moroccan Government and the UN’s country team as they respond to the tragedy. It will also help coordinate on-site search and rescue activities.Meanwhile, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is arranging for relief goods, including blankets, water and sanitation supplies, to be shipped to the area from the World Food Programme’s (WFP) depot in Brindisi, Italy.Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including the Moroccan Red Crescent, have mobilized staff and volunteers and are also providing items such as blankets, tents, clothing and jerry cans. Many European countries have sent search and rescue teams or provided emergency equipment.OCHA today predicted a possible rise in the death toll from the earthquake, which measured 6.5 on the Richter scale when it struck the Mediterranean Sea, just off the coast from Al Hoceima, about 2.30 a.m. local time yesterday. read more