If you’ve been following the news lately, you may have heard about the disastrous events that have occurred in Morocco, Libya, and Sudan. Earthquakes, tropical storms, and violent conflict have ravaged cities and villages, and entire communities have been forced to flee their homes for safety.
With so much happening, it can be hard to keep up, and even harder to remain engaged without feeling overwhelmed by needs. Here’s a quick snapshot of what’s happening in each area and how communities are coping, so we can pray specifically for people’s needs.
Earthquake in Morocco
On Friday 8 September, a 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Morocco in the Atlas Mountains, 80 km south-west of Marrakesh. It was recorded as the country’s most powerful earthquake in more than a century.
The earthquake has killed nearly 3,000 people and injured more than 5,000, though numbers are expected to rise as search and rescue operations continue. Damaged homes have forced people to take shelter in public facilities, with many resorting to sleeping outdoors. Healthcare is also a challenge, as overwhelmed hospitals are now reportedly treating patients outdoors due to the lack of space.
Families in impacted areas currently need shelter, food, clean water, and hygiene items, but access to remote villages is constrained by difficult mountain terrain, road blockages and risk of landslides.
Tropical Storm in Libya
Extreme rainfall and strong winds from a tropical storm system called Daniel hit Libya on Sunday 10 September—just a few days after the earthquake in Morocco.
In the middle of the night, the storm caused dam walls to burst and riverbeds to overflow, devastating entire neighbourhoods in the city of Derna. News reports estimate that 11,300 have been killed, and it’s believed that 30 percent of the city has disappeared under flooding.
Search efforts are still ongoing, with many people still reported missing. Critical infrastructure—including healthcare services, electricity, telecommunication towers and main roads—have sustained significant damage. Humanitarian needs were already high prior to the storm because of ongoing political instability and conflict—with estimates now suggesting 884,000 people will be in need of aid over the next three months.
Conflict in Sudan
On 15 April this year, violence erupted in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, between the country’s military and a paramilitary group called the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). This conflict has killed thousands of people, and left 5.1 million people displaced within Sudan, and in neighbouring countries that are already vulnerable to humanitarian crisis.
Civilians are experiencing frequent air raids and artillery attacks, and it’s difficult for parents to find food for their children. Many families are living in displacement camps with limited access to aid, few educational opportunities for their children, and limited support to help them cope with the trauma they have endured.
Pray With Us
Please join us in praying for communities in Morocco, Libya, and Sudan—that God would provide safe shelter, food and necessities, comfort, and protection. Here is a prayer adapted from Psalm 143:
‘Lord, hear my prayer. Listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to the relief of those most affected in Morocco, Libya and Sudan. Do not hide your face from those who suffer but let the morning bring word of your unfailing love. May their spirits not grow faint and their hearts not be dismayed. Answer me quickly, Lord; my spirit fails. And teach me to do your will, for you are God and I am not. May your Spirit continue to lead me, I am your servant.’
Some of the world’s most vulnerable communities live in the most disaster-prone areas. Part of responding to catastrophes, as they happen, is helping communities prepare well. Your gift to the Disaster Action Fund can help people around the world prepare for disaster, and recover after they happen. Find out more here.