"Too early to quantify earthquake damage"

A violent earthquake struck Morocco shortly before midnight on Friday, September 8. "The most violent the region has seen in a century," says the Moroccan National Institute of Geophysics. The quake was felt throughout the country, and even in neighboring Algeria, Mauritania, Spain, and Portugal.

It's still too early to attempt to quantify the damage to produce, according to several professionals in different parts of the country.

The regions most affected, namely the provinces of Al Haouz, Marrakech, and Taroudant, have a production mainly based on arboriculture. A grower told FreshPlaza that many areas have been destroyed, but that it was still too early to assess the extent of the damage. The hardest-hit villages practice subsistence farming, growing vegetables and olives.

A grower in the Ouarzazate region said, "The damage is above all human. The most affected areas are rural and provide workforce. Then there are infrastructure losses, involving irrigation networks and pumping stations."

"The earthquake was so violent that it has changed the flow of water sources, either by increasing or decreasing, and has even led to the emergence of new water springs," he adds.

Agadir was less affected, says a local grower, "The greenhouses are shaken up but stable. However, operations have come to a standstill, as farm workers and packhouse workers didn't show up, which is completely understandable, as they have to look after their families."

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