Morocco storms kill 11

Rabat – Floods triggered by torrential rains have killed 11 people in Morocco, a week after a storm left 36 dead, a television report said on Monday.

Storms again lashed the south of the kingdom, with the resort of Agadir experiencing the equivalent of an entire year’s rainfall – more than 250mm – between Friday and Sunday.

The bad weather, which finally eased on Monday, led to many rivers bursting their banks and causing widespread damage, especially in the Guelmim region 200km south of Agadir, which has been declared a disaster area.

The 2M public television channel said the storm had killed 11 people, citing an “authorised source” as no official national death toll has yet been released. Previous reports gave seven dead.

“Another catastrophe: floods kill seven,” the Arabic-language daily Al-Massae headlined earlier.

Both it and At-Tajdid, which cited “anonymous official sources”, said two college students drowned on Friday in the Azilal region of the Anti-Atlas mountain range, and a youth was swept away southwest of Marrakesh.

Al-Massae and Akhbar al-Youm also reported a woman and her child killed when a house collapsed near Figuig.

The latter paper gave a death toll of at least five.

Al-Ittihad Al Ichtiraki said material damage ran into “billions” of dirhams (hundreds of millions of euros, dollars).

Several thousand homes were damaged or destroyed, roads cut and power networks damaged, the authorities said, adding that at least 250 villages had been cut off.

According 2M, an airbridge had been set up between Sidi Ifni and Guelmim “to provide assistance to populations surrounded by floods”.

In the Guelmim region on the edge of the Sahara desert, which also bore the brunt of last week’s deadly storms, whole districts were under water after dikes were breached.

Local authorities cited by the MAP news agency said several hundred people were being looked after because their homes were affected.

They said priority in Guelmim was being given to reopening roads, restoring power and providing drinking water and health services.

Authorities had placed some ares on high alert on Friday following criticism after the previous storm left at least 36 dead.

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