Issue November-26
 
According to reports on Twitter mysterious blue flashes were seen in the sky above a Moroccan city moments before a deadly earthquake, that has claimed over 2000 lives in the country, struck.

The quake measured magnitude 6.8 and struck southwest of Marrakesh in the Atlas Mountains at about 23:00 local time on 9th September. Supposedly tremors could be felt as far away as Portugal and Algeria.

according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) a quake of this magnitude has not occurred in the country or surrounding areas in more than 120 years, . Nor is the affected region in western Morocco prone to frequent earthquakes.

The latest figures from state media indicate that more than 2000 people have been killed, with 2,500 individuals have been injured as of the following Monday. But it ├Âlooks now as though the death toll may well be 3000.

Much of the destruction has occurred in hard-to-reach mountain areas, which has hampered rescue efforts.

The historic center of Marrakesh, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and popular tourist destination, has also reportedly suffered damage.

A Saudi-based influencer Eyad Alhamoud posted a video and shared on social media that was reportedly captured by a surveillance camera in the city of Agadir shows some unusual blue flashes in the night sky above the city just as the earthquake strikes. He said an individual in Agadir, which lies in the affected area, sent him the clip, which was captured by a surveillance camera on the person's house.

On Twitter [now X] he wrote "Mysterious blue flashes of light appeared on the horizon and no one knew what they were, Does anyone have an explanation?"

But this is not the first time that mysterious lights associated with earthquakes have reportedly been seen in the sky.

According to the USGS phenomena such as sheet lightning, balls of light, streamers, and steady glows, reported in association with earthquakes are referred to as "earthquake lights" (EQL). Also luminous aerial phenomena, while relatively rare, have been seen during recent earthquakes in Mexico and Turkey-Syria.

Earthquake lights have long puzzled experts and there is no consensus as to what their causes are. Some have proposed geophysical explanations for such phenomena while others question such claims.

In the case of the latest video from Morocco, one X account that fact-checks UFO sightings and "sky anomalies" in an attempt to debunk hoaxes, conspiracies and fake news has proposed a prosaic explanation.

"Here's another misinformation about alleged lights before earthquake in Morocco," the ufoofinterest.org Twitter account said in a post responding to someone sharing the video captured in Agadir.

"That blue flash is caused by transformer explosion as reported many times during these events."

Their account then shared video clips of other earthquakes showing exploding transformers.

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London 11. September 2023

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