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Relief efforts in earthquake-hit Morocco are an enormous logistical challenge given the remoteness of the disaster zone, while in flooded eastern Libya, transport infrastructure has suffered extensive damage that may hamper delivery of aid supplies.

In Morocco, rural areas in the Atlas Mountains, some 47 miles west of Marrakesh, bore the brunt of Friday’s earthquake, with a death toll approaching 3,000.

Traffic jams are a critical obstacle to relief efforts as miles of winding, narrow, perilous roads are often blocked by HGVs struggling with the difficult ascent through mountain passes.

International assistance is focused on Amizmiz, where a camp has been set up by rescue teams from several countries. Russ Gordon, a team leader for the UK’s rescue mission, told the Al Jazeera news agency: “Access is a huge problem. Many routes have been cut off by boulders and landslides.”

In Libya, raging floodwaters caused massive destruction to the north-eastern port city of Derna, between Benghazi and Tobruk, which has a population of about 100,000 and the death toll has been estimated at 6,000, with thousands reported missing and least 30,000 people displaced.

One media report said Libyan state carrier Afriqiyah Airways was involved in the relief effort, while the Tripoli-based Air Ambulance Service has announced the establishment of an air bridge from Tripoli to move critical medical cases. Both Benghazi, 150m away, and Tobruk, around 75m, have airports.

Meanwhile, road-borne aid convoys of earth-moving equipment, medical supplies and equipment and personnel, and at least one ship, are reported to be heading for the disaster zone.

Algeria announced it was sending “substantial humanitarian aid” in the form of food and medical supplies, tents and clothing on eight military aircraft. Egypt said it had sent three aid planes, as well as search and rescue teams, while Qatar said an aircraft was scheduled to land in Benghazi yesterday evening, carrying a field hospital and medical and food aid.

Ed Gillett, founder and director of digital charter broker CharterSync, told The Loadstar: “We have started to see a steady increase in humanitarian aid requests to Morocco and are working hard with our partner airlines. We are also seeing an increase in relief requests to Libya.”

An Air Charter Service spokesperson added: “We have had a lot of enquiries for both Morocco and Libya, but so far nothing is booked.”

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