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7.1 magnitude Earthquake kills 296 in Morocco

Powerful earthquake of magnitude 7.1 hits Morocco on Friday night. The epicenter was in the High Atlas mountains, about 72km southwest of Marrakech, says CNN reporter.

An earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale was felt by residents as far away as Spain and Portugal hits. Earthquake hits Morocco near the city of Marrakesh, affecting nearby cities all the way to the coast and north. In the past couple of hours around 300 people have died and hundreds more are injured.

At least 296 people have been confirmed dead so far, and more than 150 people have been injured. The numbers are expected to rise further. Several buildings are completely collapsed, and hospitals had to be evacuated after earthquake.

The number of casualties, injuries and the scale of destruction will become known a little later. Large numbers refuse to return to their homes for fear of aftershocks and further collapse.

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