Stamps of the catastrophic Floods of 1963 in Morocco
The month of January 1963 saw torrential rains fall on Morocco. These rains had catastrophic effects throughout the northern half of the country. The damage took place in particular in the plain of Gharb with the overflow of the Sebou river.
Inhabitants perished in the floods, many livestock were lost, crops and homes destroyed, many lines of communication cut. The floods scattered on the plains the abundant material that erosion had torn from the mountains.
In an article of January 9, 1963, the French newspaper “Le Monde” speaks of 10 dead and thousands of victims. An article from January 11 relates even more losses and casualities and talks of a national catastrophy.
Following the floods, and the significant loss in the livestock, the king of Morocco canceled the festivities of Eid El Kebir (Eid Al Adha or feast of sacrifice) which should have taken place at the beginning of May of the same year.
on January 28, 1963, Morocco issued two stamps from the series of stamps bearing the effigy of King Mohammed V, initially issued in 1956. The stamps bore the overprint in Arabic “innodations 1963” and a new face value. The value included a tax to support flood victims.
Unfortunately, the same year, other disasters befall Morocco. On May 23, 1963, a flood of the Moulouya River swept away everything in its path from the junction of the Middle and High Atlas Mountains to the Mediterranean. The flood was so violent that it carried away the left bank foundation of the Mohammed V dam, located south of the city of Oujda, in the notheast of the country, as reported in a document from the Directorate of Surveillance and Risk Prevention. 170 people were killed in this catastrophy.
Catalogue Reference: Yvert & Tellier #453 and #454.