By Tenzin Nyidon
DHARAMSHALA, Sept 12: Following the devastating earthquake that struck Morocco late Friday, the foremost Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama has extended his heartfelt condolences to the Prime Minister and people of Morocco. The exiled Tibetan leader expressed deep sorrow for the loss of lives and widespread destruction caused by the natural disaster.
Upon learning of this tragic event, the Dalai Lama issued a statement on Monday from his residence in Dharamshala, India. In his statement, he expressed his profound sympathy to the victims and their families, stating, “I offer my condolences to Your Excellency, the families of those who have lost loved ones and pray for all those affected by this great tragedy,” the statement read.
The Dalai Lama also acknowledged the Moroccan government’s vigorous efforts to provide support for rescue and relief operations in the earthquake-affected areas. He expressed appreciation for the international community’s swift response in sending aid to assist Morocco during this challenging time. “I am aware that your government is doing everything it can to provide support to help the rescue and relief efforts in the quake zones. It is also heartening that the international community is sending aid following the earthquake,” the letter further stated.
As rescue and relief operations continue in Morocco with the global community offering assistance and support to help the affected regions rebuild their lives, the Dalai Lama has made an undisclosed sum as donation to contribute to relief efforts. He affirmed, “As a token of my solidarity with the people of Morocco affected by this tragedy, I have asked the Gaden Phodrang Foundation of the Dalai Lama to make a donation towards the rescue and relief efforts,” the letter affirmed.
The earthquake, with a magnitude of 6.8, struck 72 kilometres southwest of the popular tourist destination, Marrakesh, at precisely 11:11 PM local time. It also generated strong tremors felt in coastal cities such as Rabat, Casablanca, and Essaouira. Tragically, the death toll has surged past 2,100 as of Monday, and the numbers are expected to rise as dedicated rescue workers labor diligently to locate survivors amidst challenging conditions. Additionally, over 2,400 individuals have been reported injured, marking this earthquake as one of the deadliest in Morocco in recent decades.