The 6.8-magnitude quake struck near Marrakech. On 9 September, rescue teams were reportedly struggling to reach the most affected areas, with roads blocked by debris.

As people search for their loved ones, and mourn those they have lost, we pray for the first responders, and for the churches struggling to meet dire needs on the frontlines of this terrible disaster,” said Pillay. This is a catastrophe, and we only know part of the extent of the damage.”

The epicenter was in the High Atlas mountains, about 72 kilometers southwest of Marrakech, a city of about 840,000 people.

We join the world in reaching out and pledging our solidarity,” Pillay said. We grieve with you and pray for you.”