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Earthquake Hazards Program

News Release

2004 February 24 02:27:48 UTC

Preliminary Earthquake Report
U.S. Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center
World Data Center for Seismology, Denver

The following is a release by the United States Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center: A strong earthquake occurred NEAR AL HOCEIMA, MOROCCO, about 160 km (100 miles) northeast of Fes at 7:27 PM MST, Feb 23, 2004 (Feb 24 at 2:27 AM local time in Morocco). The magnitude and location may be revised when additional data and further analysis results are available.

At least 628 people killed, 926 injured, 2,539 homes destroyed and more than 15,000 people homeless in the Al Hoceima-Imzourene-Beni Abdallah area, Morocco. Maximum intensity IX in the Imzourene-Ait Kamra area. Ground cracks and landslides were observed between Ajdir and Beni Abdallah and maximum horizontal acceleration of 0.24g was recorded near Imzourene. Felt from Tetouan to Nador and as far south as Fes. Felt (V) at Melilla and (III) in many parts of southern Spain from Algeciras to Roquetas de Mar. Felt (II) at Cordoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaen and Madrid. Also felt in Gibraltar. Several aftershocks killed at least three people and destroyed previously weakened buildings. This earthquake occurred near the eastern end of the Rif mountain belt, which is part of the diffuse boundary between the African and Eurasian plates. The moment tensors and pattern of surface cracks indicate left-lateral strike-slip faulting on a buried NE-SW trending fault. This quake occurred near the epicenter of the magnitude 6.0 Al Hoceima earthquake of May 26, 1994, that injured one person and caused significant damage to adobe buildings. Special reports for this earthquake are available on the website


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