North West firefighters arrive in Morocco to assist search and rescue efforts after earthquake

A team of firefighters from Greater Manchester have arrived in Morocco along with other fire services from across the country. Credit: Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service

North West firefighters have arrived in Morocco to help with search and rescue efforts, after a devastating earthquake, which has claimed the lives of almost 3,000 people.

It is the strongest earthquake to hit Morocco in over a century, with the death toll continuing to rise.

Crews from Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside are part of a UK International Search and Rescue (UKISAR) team made up of 60 operational crew members from 14 fire and rescue services.

The team has been deployed through the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office after the 6.8 magnitude earthquake stuck on Friday 8 September.

Rescuers from Morocco, Spain, aid groups, along with the UK teams are desperately searching for survivors.

They are expected to find more casualties as they reach the hard-hit remote mountain areas in trucks and helicopters today.

GMFRS Assistant Chief Fire Officer Barry Moore said: "Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service is pleased to be supporting the national search and rescue operation in Morocco and we send our thoughts to the people of Morocco and everyone affected by this devastating event.  

"Our team of five highly skilled search and rescue technicians have safely arrived in Marrakesh where they have set up a base of operations and we expect to hear more from the team in the coming days, but we are grateful to them and to their families."

National Fire Chiefs Council Chair Mark Hardingham said: "The thoughts of the UK’s fire and rescue services are with all those affected by the devastating earthquake in Morocco.  

"A team of specially trained firefighters and medics from the UK has been deployed to assist following a request from the Moroccan government to the British government.  

"They will be providing specialist technical support where it is needed most to save lives and support local emergency service teams."  

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