This EU Country Issues Travel Warning For Areas In Morocco Affected By The Earthquake

Following the terrible earthquake that occurred on Friday night in Morocco, Belgium updated its travel advice website for the country.

But the warning only applies to the worst-affected areas. “Following the massive earthquake that hit the province of Al Haouz on the night of 8 September, travel to the area around Marrakech, Ouarzazate, Azilal, Chichaoua and Taroudant is strongly discouraged until further notice”, the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs states on its website.

According to the Belgian news agency Belga, about 630 Belgian residents are “currently believed to have registered through official channels as being in the region.” The hardest-hit regions covered by travel advisories are either the Atlas Mountains, the epicenter of the earthquake, or the area around Marrakech, the main city in the region, which suffered significant damage.

On the other hand, some countries have not issued similar warnings at this time, and travel agencies have not initiated travel cancelations. As airports continue their operations, the majority of tourists are choosing to proceed with their originally scheduled travel arrangements.

Travelers who decide to change their plans will not be compensated for their vacation, according to TUI Belgium. Since the earthquake did not damage any of the company’s hotels, no trips will be canceled. “None of our hotels were damaged,” said TUI Belgium spokesman Piet Demeyere “In this case, we have no reason to cancel a trip with our partners there. Unfortunately, this means 100% cancelation costs.”

Only the trips that were scheduled to occur during the three days of mourning officially declared by Morocco after the earthquake can be reimbursed. Demeyere clarified, “Since this falls under force majeure, those trips will be refunded.”

More than 2,100 people have died in the deadliest earthquake to hit Morocco in decades. At least 31,400 people were also reported injured, of whom 1,220 are in critical condition.

Every available space in Marrakech has been transformed into emergency shelters for those who lost their homes. In addition to public buildings that were spared from the earthquake, beds have been placed in large squares and even roundabouts.

Samia Errazzouki, a Moroccan expert at Stanford University, wrote in the Guardian that while people in the city have easier access aid more easily, access is difficult for rescue workers trying to reach villages in the mountains closer to the epicenter.