International Operation Name: not applicable
International Operation Dates: not applicable
Mandating Organization: Government of Canada
Region Name: Africa
Canadian Operation Name: (Morocco 1960)
Canadian Operation Dates: 1960/03/05 – 1960/03/07
Mission Mandate: To airlift aid to Morocco after a major earthquake
On the night of 29 February 1960, a magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck the city of Agadir, situated on the Atlantic Coast of Morocco. While a 5.7 magnitude is severe, this earthquake was particularly destructive as it occurred close to the surface. Both old and new buildings collapsed, killing an estimated 12,000 people, with some areas of the city, such as the Kasbah and Yachech districts, suffering total devastation and 95 percent fatalities.
Rescue efforts started almost immediately with French sailors and marines at the nearby Agadir naval base heading into the devastated city. Moroccan and French soldiers from nearby bases quickly followed. American and Spanish military forces started arriving the next day. By 4 March the main rescue efforts were terminated in favour of decontamination and disease prevention efforts, although people were still being pulled alive from the rubble as late as 9 March.
Canadian assistance to the disaster relief consisted of eight military medical personnel and 6,650 lbs of medical supplies. These were delivered to Rabat on 6 March by a special North Star flight from 426 Squadron. From Rabat, the supplies and personnel were transported by other means to Agadir.
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