A powerful earthquake struck Marrakesh, Morocco, on Friday night, causing significant damage to the renowned Kutubiyya Mosque as residents rushed to ensure their safety.
Videos circulating on social media captured the mosque’s structure shaking as the earthquake struck.
The iconic Kutubiyya Mosque, which dates back to the 12th century, is one of Marrakesh’s most famous landmarks and holds historical and cultural significance in the city.
The earthquake, with a magnitude of 6.8, resulted in the tragic loss of over 800 lives. Terrified Marrakesh residents described the moments following the quake as marked by “unbearable” screaming.
Initial reports indicated that the Kutubiya Mosque had suffered damage, although the extent of the damage was not immediately clear. The mosque’s towering 69-meter (226-foot) minaret, often referred to as the “roof of Marrakesh,” is a prominent feature of the city’s skyline.
Videos shared by locals also depicted sections of the well-known red walls that encircle Marrakesh’s old city, a UNESCO World Heritage site, showing signs of damage.
The mosque is situated in the Medina neighborhood of Marrakesh, which was founded in 1070–1072 by the Almoravids. Over the centuries, the city has remained a vital center for politics, commerce, and culture, extending its influence from North Africa to Andalusia. Today, it still boasts a rich historical legacy, with structures such as the Kasbah, battlements, grand entrances, and gardens preserving its storied past.