France says it can help Morocco after quake, awaiting Rabat’s request

By Dominique Vidalon

PARIS (Reuters) – France said on Sunday it is ready to help Morocco after a powerful earthquake killed over 2,000 people, and is awaiting a formal request for assistance.

“France is ready to offer its aid to Morocco if Morocco decides it is useful,” President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday during a news conference at the G20 Summit in New Delhi.

“Moroccan authorities know exactly what can be delivered, the nature (of what can be delivered) and the timing…We are at their disposal. We did everything we could do…. The second they request this aid, it will be deployed,” he added.

France was among nations offering help on Saturday following the quake late on Friday evening, which hit villages in the High Atlas mountains and also damaged the city of Marrakech.

“Our embassy in Morocco is fully mobilised…today Moroccan authorities are in charge… An assessment (of the situation) is under way… At this stage Morocco has not asked for help,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anne-Claire Legendre told BFM television earlier on Sunday.

Four French citizens were among those killed in the quake, and 15 were injured, the ministry said in an update on French casualties on Sunday afternoon.

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and Frances Kerry)