Volunteers from a Blackburn charity have descended on Morocco in the wake of a devastating earthquake that has killed thousands.

Benefit Mankind, an international aid relief and development organisation, sent volunteers and resources to aid the earthquake victims.

A 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit the country on Friday, September 8, stretching from the High Atlas Mountains to the historic city of Marrakesh.

It destroyed buildings and left survivors homeless and in urgent need of shelter, food and clothing, with many living high up in the mountains cut off from aid.

The charity not only provided immediate relief but it also marked the beginning of long-term projects aimed at rebuilding lives and communities.

The earthquake left a trail of destruction, killing more than 2,900 people and affecting more than 300,000 people across Morocco.

Families were left without shelter, food and basic necessities.

Benefit Mankind delivered blankets, mattresses, food aid, hygiene kits and other essential items to the affected areas, offering comfort and support to those facing the aftermath of the disaster.

Abdussamad Mulla, chief executive of Benefit Mankind, said:"The initial assessment in Morocco is of devastation, catastrophic and dangerous.

“With support from our donors we aim to increase our efforts in the country and try and provide hope to those that have lost everything."

His words underscored the urgent need for assistance and highlighted the courage and dedication of the volunteers who worked to alleviate the suffering of affected families.

Volunteers also described the horror and grief they saw from famillies in the country.

Mr Mulla said: "Our volunteers have been delivering aid in three regions across Morocco and have witnessed families suffering grief from loss of lives and having to bury family members with their own hands.

"A teacher had lost 32 students overnight due to the earthquake and another family we visited lost 13 members, these are just a few of the incidents witnessed by our volunteers and latest stats show over 300,000 people are in need of emergency assistance.

"On the ground, the families are in shock and cannot go back to their homes. Living in makeshift tents, they are in need of basic essentials like blankets, sanitary kits, nappies, mattresses which the Benefit Mankind teams have been delivering."

While immediate relief efforts provided a lifeline to those in distress, Benefit Mankind is not stopping there.

The organisation is planning long-term projects in Morocco, with a focus on rebuilding homes and helping communities regain their footing.

This commitment to sustainable solutions reflects its dedication to making a lasting difference in the lives of those affected by the earthquake.

Lancashire Telegraph: Benefit Mankind volunteers delivering aid in MoroccoBenefit Mankind volunteers delivering aid in Morocco (Image: Benefit Mankind)

A spokesperson for the charity added: “Benefit Mankind's actions in Morocco serve as a testament to the power of collective compassion and the impact that organisations and individuals can have when they come together to support those in need.

“In a time of crisis, Benefit Mankind's volunteers and supporters have shown that the human spirit is resilient and compassionate, offering hope and assistance to those who need it most.”

Most of the destruction and deaths were in Al Haouz province in the High Atlas Mountains, where homes folded in on themselves and steep, winding roads became clogged with rubble. Some residents cleared away rocks by themselves.

Some villages have been completely flattened and residents are using whatever equipment they can find as they struggle to help their neighbours.

Blocked roads are preventing ambulances from reaching the wounded, and officials are scrambling to clear debris.

Rescue and relief efforts are difficult amid the mountainous terrain, risk of landslides, and large distances

The Islamic Relief UK aid agency has launched an appeal to raise £10 million to help with relief efforts, including a nationwide mosque collection on September 15.

Islamic Relief UK director Tufail Hussain praised the “amazing generosity of our donors and the community,

He said: “The news of the earthquake in Morocco was devastating to hear, knowing that so many lives would be lost or ruined by this natural disaster.

"Islamic Relief teams were quickly deployed to Morocco to work with local partners.”