Emergency Preparedness Expert Available to Discuss Morocco Earthquake Disaster


ALBANY, N.Y. (Sept. 12, 2023) — The death toll from a devastating 6.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Morocco on Friday has now surpassed 2,900, according to the Moroccan Interior Ministry.

International efforts to rescue any potential survivors are still underway, while the injured continue to receive care.

As Morocco grapples with Friday’s earthquake, the country has also expressed “full solidarity” with Libya, where thousands are feared dead or missing after major floods caused this week by the Mediterranean storm Daniel.

Samantha Penta, an assistant professor at the University at Albany’s College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity, studies health and medical care in crises, decision-making in preparedness and response, and humanitarian logistics.

Some of her most recent work focused on health and medical responses to the 2015 Nepal earthquake and the 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

“The situation in Morocco exemplifies the difficulties government relief workers face in providing aid and restoring services after a major disaster. While the importance of the restoration of lifeline services and delivery of aid cannot be understated, the reason needs are so high is the very reason why meeting those needs is so difficult.

“Substantial damage to transportation networks, power and water lines, and communication networks make coordination and response incredibly difficult, particularly in remote areas difficult to reach during non-crisis times. The role local citizens are playing in helping their friends and neighbors through the crisis highlights the importance of local actors as disaster responders and disaster preparedness at the community and individual level.”

Penta is available to offer more insight on Morocco’s disaster response, as well as the situation in Libya, via phone or live/recorded interviews. UAlbany has an on-campus television studio available for remote interviews. 


About the University at Albany:

The University at Albany is one of the most diverse public research institutions in the nation and a national leader in edmn5ucational equity and social mobility. As a Carnegie-classified R1 institution, UAlbany faculty and students are advancing our understanding of the world fields such as artificial intelligence, atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, education, public health, social sciences, criminal justice, humanities, emergency preparedness, engineering, public administration, and social welfare. Our courses are taught by an accomplished roster of faculty experts with student success at the center of everything we do. Through our parallel commitments to academic excellence, scientific discovery and service to community, UAlbany molds bright, curious and engaged leaders and launches great careers.




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