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Spain to Assist Earthquake-Plagued Morocco – Foreign Minister

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After getting an official request for help from Rabat, Spain will send rescue teams and other help to quake-hit Morocco, Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said on Sunday.

“It’s a sign of Spanish solidarity and the friendship between the people of Spain and Morocco,” he said in an interview with Catalunya Radio. He also said that his Moroccan counterpart called him early on Sunday to ask for help.

“It will be as much help as Morocco needs. Right now, we are sending out search and rescue teams because we need to save as many people as possible right away. When it is time to rebuild, there will also be help from Spain.”

Albares didn’t give any more information, but a spokesman for the interior ministry said the government was getting ready to send 65 members of Spain’s Military Emergencies Unit (UME) to Morocco “immediately” to help with the search and rescue effort.

The UME is a branch of the military that was made to respond quickly to disasters like forest fires, floods, and earthquakes.

According to Spain’s defense minister, a UME unit was sent to Turkey in February after a terrible earthquake and helped save six people, including a mother and two children.

The latest official numbers show that at least 2,012 people have died and over 2,059 have been hurt, with many of them in serious condition.

AFP

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