by Eulana Weekes
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Resident Ambassador for the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to the Kingdom of Morocco, Mr. Ian Queeley said all 70 individuals, including four students from St. Kitts and Nevis are safe and accounted for in the aftermath of a deadly earthquake in Morocco.
Whilst a guest on Island Tea on Tuesday morning, September 12, 2023, Queeley said, despite being located quite a distance from the epicenter of the earthquake, the effects were felt in Northern Morocco.
“All of our students are located in the North of the country. Our students are spread out in Rabat, Kenitra and Tangier which are in the North. The epicenter of the earthquake was just to the South of Marrakech, just about 45 km South of Marrakech, which is about 200 miles from Rabat. However, although we’re that far, it was felt very heavily in this area, so I can only imagine the closer areas and what went on there. It was very heavy here.”
Queeley added that none of his staff members or the students reported any damages and neither have there been any reports of disruptions to classes for the students.
The earthquake, measuring 6.8 magnitude on the Richter Scale, killed hundreds of people and left many others homeless when it struck the country about 11:10 p.m on Friday night, Western European time or 6:10 p.m, Eastern Caribbean time.
Queeley said Morocco has been a good friend of St. Kitts and Nevis and the OECS at large. He requested that the OECS community pray for the Moroccans and stand in solidarity with them.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis and Chairman of the OECS Authority, Dr. Terrance Drew sent a letter to the Head of Morocco. It reads, “On behalf of the OECS Authority, please allow me to express our profound regret on this sad occurrence, and please accept our heartfelt condolences on the tragic loss of life; and to those who are injured, our wishes for a very speedy recovery. At this time of great difficulty, the OECS Authority assures the Government and people of the Kingdom of Morocco, and in particular, the families of the victims of its solidarity and prayerful consideration.”