Floods Cause Severe Damage in Southern Morocco
Flooding has hit some areas in southern Morocco hard after rainfall at a level much higher than usual for late November led to deaths, injuries and trouble traversing the area. The Associated Press reported that pervasive flooding had caused 32 deaths so far, and there are some people said to be missing as well. The sheer volume of the rainfall caused previously dry riverbeds and other similar features to become filled with water, washing across roads and causing travel and infrastructure problems. The transformation of the formerly empty water paths into rushing waters was also a problem because they lacked the protective features often included on active rivers.
Vehicles swept away by floodwaters
The power of the flooding was enough to push vehicles off the road in some instances, which caused a significant number of the fatalities and missing persons reports. The AP said families in cars as well as commercial vehicles such as inter-city taxis were all compromised by the storm. Some were stalled or rendered inoperable, while others were actually carried off by the newly formed streams and rivers. Damage to vehicles as well as fixed assets was also a concern as the power of the floodwaters mounted.
A major rescue effort
While fatalities reached the double digits as a result of the sudden nature of the flood, the Moroccan government engaged in a massive rescue and relief operation that saved hundreds of lives and moved many out of the direct path of danger. The Daily Mail said the federal government had deployed more than 100 all-terrain vehicles and more than 300 inflatable boats, along with a group of helicopters, to search for stranded survivors and provide relief. Morocco's Ministry of the Interior told The Daily Mail that rescue efforts had saved 214 people. Additionally, the government set up shelters for the people displaced by the floods.
Supply chains, other operations severely disturbed
The AP noted many upturned or otherwise immobile tractor-trailers along the major roads in southern Morocco was one of the most visible signs of the power of the flood. Other business assets were also damaged or disrupted by the event. The threat to personnel, facilities and other assets from the flood shows the wide-reaching effect it had on the area. This large and varied impact demonstrates the need for businesses to have an incident management plan in place, as well as the technological infrastructure to set such a plan in motion.
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