Al Hoceima Morocco 2004 (CAR)
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.
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 $0.3 to 0.4 billion (approximately 0.7% of Morocco’s GDP in 2004).
Most sources mention 926 injured people.
2498 in the rural areas and 41 in the urban areas.
There were 11,998 partially or totally destroyed dwellings in the rural areas and 968 in the urban areas.
Note: the 2539 destroyed dwellings are excluded.
40000 were the short-term homeless.
The Morrocan government earmarked 297 million US$ for reconstruction.