Al Hoceima Morocco 2004 (CAR)

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Event ID
200402240227
Event name
Al Hoceima
Country
Morocco
Region in the country
Rif Mountains region
World region
Africa
Epicentral coordinates (long/lat)
POINT(-3.96 35.23)
WKT GIS format
GEMECD contributing partner
CAR
Event narrative

On Tuesday 24th February 2004, at 02:17 local time, a damaging earthquake of moment magnitude 6.5 and focal depth of just 2 km struck the province of Al Hoceima in northeastern Morocco.

The main shock’s epicentre (35.23°N, 3.96°W) was in the Rif Mountains around 3.5 km southwest of the almost undamaged Mediterranean coastal city of Al Hoceima (population 55,000) and about 14 km northwest of the most damaged town of Imzouren (population 27,000).

In the USGS EXPO-CAT database it is estimated that during this earthquake 117,000 people were exposed to intensity VII or greater, of which around 45% were in rural areas.

Date of occurrence (UTC)
2004-02-24
date
Time of occurrence (UTC)
02:27:00
time
Date of occurrence (local)
2004-02-24
date
Time of occurrence (local)
02:27:00
time
Day of the week (local)
Tuesday
Magnitude
6.5
Magnitude units
Moment (Mw)
Focal depth
1.7
km
Seismological data: source
USGS
Seismological data: comment

ShakeMap Atlas

Overall impact

The earthquake had severe effects and claimed 631 lives, caused approximately 2000 injuries and left about 15,000 people homeless.

In Imzouren most of the people lived in two- to five-story reinforced concrete frame buildings with clay-tile infill walls. In this town the incidence of soft-story at ground floor level (for open plan shops) was quite common and several such RC buildings collapsed, loosing the ground floor while parts of the upper levels were still standing (some cases of pancake collapse also occurred).

In total 35 to 40 RC buildings collapsed in Imzouren, most built not more than 10-15 years earlier. In the mountain villages unreinforced single or two-storey rubble stone on mud mortar and adobe houses were most common and damage was extensive (circa 2500 destroyed buildings).

In Ait Qamra out of a population of 6750,140 people died. Many of the rural masonry houses had internal wooden post supports that offered some limited diaphragm action. Heavy compacted earth roofs but also reinforced concrete slabs were used in these rural settlements.

Losses due to this earthquake were estimated at $0.3 to 0.4 billion (approximately 0.7% of Morocco’s GDP in 2004).

Overview data
Loss: Human Casualty
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People injured
1100
number
People injured: source
CAR estimate
People injured: comment

Most sources mention 926 injured people.

People injured: status
Greater than

People seriously injured
1100
number
People seriously injured: source
Murphy P, Goula X and Susagna T (2005). Al Hoceima un an après le tremblement de terre. AFKAR/IDEES, Printemps 2005
People seriously injured: comment

Around 1100 people were treated at Hospital Mohammed V (Rabat). 101 were still in hospital a week after the event.

People seriously injured: status
Approximate

People missing
0
number

People killed
628
number
People killed: source
Ait Brachim L. et al. (2004). Structural analysis and interpretation of the surface deformations. EMSC Newsletter, No. 21, April 2004

People missing due to ground shaking
0
number

People killed due to ground shaking
628
number
People killed due to ground shaking: source
Ait Brachim L. et al. (2004). Structural analysis and interpretation of the surface deformations. EMSC Newsletter, No. 21, April 2004

People dying post catastrophe due to shaking
0
number

People missing due to tsunami
0
number
People killed due to tsunami
0
number
People missing due to fire following
0
number
People killed due to fire following
0
number
People missing due to slope failures
0
number
People killed due to slope failures
0
number
Loss: Building damage
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Number of buildings damaged by shaking: status
N/A

Number of dwellings destroyed by shaking
2539
number
Number of dwellings destroyed by shaking: source
Ait Brachim L. et al. (2004). Structural analysis and interpretation of the surface deformations. EMSC Newsletter, No. 21, April 2004
Number of dwellings destroyed by shaking: comment

2498 in the rural areas and 41 in the urban areas.


Number of dwellings damaged by shaking
10427
number
Number of dwellings damaged by shaking: source
Maasoumi M. (2006). Action Intersectorielle et Gestion des Risques Sanitaires Lies aux Catastrophes Naturelles (Cas de la Province d’al Hoceima), 99 p.
Number of dwellings damaged by shaking: comment

There were 11,998 partially or totally destroyed dwellings in the rural areas and 968 in the urban areas.

Note: the 2539 destroyed dwellings are excluded.

Number of dwellings damaged by shaking: status
Approximate

Loss: Socioeconomic
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People homeless
15230
number
People homeless: source
Ait Brachim L. et al. (2004). Structural analysis and interpretation of the surface deformations. EMSC Newsletter, No. 21, April 2004
People homeless: comment

40000 were the short-term homeless.


Direct economic loss
400
million US$
Direct economic loss: source
Munich Re
Direct economic loss: comment

The Morrocan government earmarked 297 million US$ for reconstruction.


Indirect economic loss: status
N/A

Insured loss
0
million US$
Insured loss: source
Munich Re

Demographics
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Total number of buildings: status
N/A