Hopes Fade for Survivors of Morocco Earthquake as Search Enters Third Day

Rescuers in Morocco have been searching desperately for survivors of Friday's devastating earthquake with nothing but their bare hands.

Hopes Fade for Survivors of Morocco Earthquake as Search Enters Third Day
Morocco earthquake

The tremor, which claimed 2,681 lives, is the deadliest to hit the nation in 60 years.

As rescuers struggle with tiredness, Morocco's government is pressured to accept more outside assistance.

Only four nations have offered assistance thus far: Spain, the UK, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

Numerous rural and distant settlements were damaged by the 6.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the High Atlas highlands south of Marrakech.

One of them, Tafeghaghte, has seen its 200-person population nearly cut in half, and many individuals are still missing.

Roads are obstructed by stones and other rubbish, making it difficult for heavy lifting equipment to pass. To get supplies to mountainous areas, helicopters have started flying round trips. 

Although "it's very difficult to find people alive after three days," Albert Vasquez, communications officer for group of 30 Spanish firemen, told the AFP news agency that "hope is still there."

The daughters had ages of 15, 8, and 5, respectively. The youngest youngster was young boy who was turning three, he said.

 Since Friday night, Said has not been able to eat or sleep. "The state of affairs is dire. I'm not sure how I'll bounce back from this," he remarked.

 The southwest, where urgent humanitarian aid is required, has been hardest hit, according to Tom Godfrey, a team leader with the UK rescue organization EMT.

The cries for greater foreign aid get louder.

 Morocco's leadership is under increasing pressure—and resentment—to accept the assistance provided by several countries.

 Among the countries that have pledged support are the United States, Tunisia, Turkey, Taiwan, and France—a former colonial power of Morocco.

 Algeria, which borders Morocco and has long history of tense ties with that country, has supplied mattresses, tents, and blankets as well as specialized rescue workers, medical professionals, and sniffer dogs.