Where the earthquake was in Morocco and what it means for your trip

After the tremor that originated in the High Atlas Mountains struck on Friday night, here is the latest advice if you have a trip booked to Morocco

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly
Contributing Writer
Rubble in Morocco following 2023 earthquake
Photograph: Alamy

A 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit Morocco late last week, on Friday 8 September at around 11pm. The deadliest earthquake to occur in the country in over 60 years, the death toll is estimated at approximately 2,900 people, and it’s rising. According to experts, the area around the epicentre will likely continue to experience aftershocks for the next few weeks, or even months. Here is everything you need to know if you have a trip booked to Morocco. 

Where was the earthquake in Morocco?

According to the US Geological Survey, the epicentre of this earthquake was around 18.5km below ground, approximately 70 km southwest of Marrakech in the High Atlas Mountains. Marrakech has been severely affected, but the places hit the hardest are remote villages which are only accessible via already treacherous roads. 

The historic Medina in Marrakech is a Unesco World Heritage site, but many buildings have been damaged extensively, or even collapsed. 

Can I still travel to Morocco?

Airports in Morocco are still operating, and various airlines have issued statements about how the earthquake will affect their services. Marrakech Menara experienced some cancellations, but has managed to run relatively normally, and other tourist areas such as Agadir and Essaouira are mostly unaffected.  

British Airways has announced a two-week flexibility period, so passengers to due fly to Marrakech have the chance to alter their booking. 

A spokesperson for the airline also announced that they had reached out to check on the safety of their customers, and that they’re continuing to monitor the situation. 

easyJet have encouraged their passengers due to travel to Marrakech to contact their customer service team, with the possibility of altering their bookings. The number is 0330 551 5151. 

Ryanair have said there may be delays and cancellations on their flights to Morocco, and are encouraging passengers who have a booking to check the Ryanair app for all the latest information on their journeys. 

TUI have said their on-the-ground teams are working to support customers, but that their next scheduled flight, due to depart today (Monday September 9) was still going ahead. 

What’s the latest UK Foreign Office advice?

The advice on travelling to Morocco from the UK Foreign Office remains the same, as of Wednesday 13 September. Their website reads that ‘You should follow the advice of local authorities, and follow local media.’

‘All Moroccan airports are open and flights to and from the UK are operating normally, with some airlines laying on additional seats for travellers wishing to return to the UK earlier than planned.’

‘Travellers wishing to change their flight should liaise direct with their tour operators or airline companies. If you are planning on travelling to Morocco imminently we advise you check with your accommodation provider / tour operator to confirm arrangements before departure in case of disruption or damage resulting from the earthquake.’

Can I get a refund if I choose not to travel?

You won’t necessarily get a refund if you choose not to travel, especially if your specific destination is not directly affected. The best course of action is to contact your airline and accommodation provider for all the latest information, as well as your travel insurance provider. 

Here is our explainer on how to help after the earthquake in Morocco

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