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Live blog update| Morocco earthquake

A history of earthquakes

The region along the Mediterranean Sea separating Africa from Europe is a tectonic hotspot, because it's the meeting place of the Eurasian and African plates.

It is no surprise, then, that northwest Africa and Iberia have suffered a number of devastating earthquakes over the centuries. 

The 1755 Lisbon earthquake, which was immortalised in Voltaire's novel Candide, sparked destruction, tsunamis and fires that led to the death of at least 50,000 people in Iberia and 10,000 in Morocco.

More recently, the Al Hoceima earthquake, which was centred in the Rif Mountains, killed at least 600 people in February 2004.

For more detail, visit this Middle East Eye story on previous tectonic disasters affecting Morocco.