4 die as homes collapse in Morocco storms

Rabat – Four people have died in a house that has collapsed as new storms swept across Morocco at the weekend, a month after flooding killed nearly 50, the authorities said on Monday.

Wind and torrential rain battered a large part of the North African nation, with two people killed when three homes were destroyed in commercial capital Casablanca.

Emergency workers in the city of five million recovered two bodies from the ruins but also managed to pull out one person alive, authorities in the city said.

At least four more people were injured, they said of the incident that affected 14 families.

The MAP news agency reported another two deaths — a 28-year-old mother and her two-year-old child — at Safi 250km southwest of Casablanca.

At the end of November, floods triggered by downpours killed at least 47 people in storms a week apart in southern Morocco.

The resort of Agadir experienced the equivalent of an entire year’s rainfall — more than 250m in just two days.

In July, the government said there were around 43 000 homes nationwide in danger of collapse, a large number of them in Casablanca.

That month, 23 people died when three buildings collapsed in the city, also injuring around 50 others in the worst tragedy of its kind to hit the country.

Many live in hazardous accommodations in Casablanca, including in the city’s sprawling slums.

Ten people are currently on trial on charges ranging from violating building codes to manslaughter over that incident.

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