The death toll from the Morocco earthquake will likely rise, and aftershocks could cause further physical and mental pain, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies' Caroline Holt said Saturday.
"Not only (do aftershocks) have the potential to create further injuries to people — and broken bones and severe head injuries, etc. — but really, it creates a sense of fear amongst the population that has survived the initial trauma," said Holt, director for disaster, climate and crises at the IFRC.
Holt told CNN it is heartening to see international solidarity at this time, and that needs to continue.
"We know that there will be a requirement of shelter, in form of tents, no doubt, in the early phases. Food and safe and clean water will also be critical to make sure that we don't see a disaster within a disaster," she said.
"People will be living outside for the foreseeable future," Holt said. In the mountainous area near the epicenter, she said it is very hot during the day, but temperatures can plunge at night, so basic shelter is required immediately to protect people from the elements.
"First aid and psychosocial support, to help with the mental health needs of people who are suffering and continue to suffer the trauma, will also be prioritized, and I can only imagine that we will see the international aid effort really start to scale up in the coming days," she added.
The Moroccan Red Crescent is working with national and local organizations on the ground to assess the biggest needs, Holt said.
"I think it is important to recognize that it's roads, transportation, it's health care, it's communication, everything is impacted by a disaster of this nature — specifically by an earthquake. So everything is complicated and it is a very complex response that will be required," she said.