On Sunday, Morocco earthquake came to destroy the human life that claimed the lives of more than 2,000 people. Meanwhile, rescue teams worked tirelessly to locate survivors trapped beneath the debris of flattened villages.
This earthquake, the strongest ever recorded in the country, has resulted in a staggering death toll of at least 2,012 individuals, with over 2,059 more sustaining injuries, many of them severe, as per the latest official reports. The quake, measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale, struck 72 kilometers southwest of the popular tourist destination of Marrakesh, causing extensive destruction in rural areas, including the complete devastation of entire villages.
The World Health Organization has stated that more than 300,000 people have been affected in Marrakech and its surrounding regions.
Lahcen, a resident of the mountain village of Moulay Brahim, expressed his profound loss, having tragically lost his wife and four children. Although rescue workers managed to recover the bodies of his three daughters from the remains of their once-peaceful home, his wife and son have yet to be found. Lahcen shared his heartache, saying, “I can’t change what happened; I just want some time alone to grieve.”
Troops and Emergency Services in Morocco
Troops and emergency services have mobilized urgently to reach remote mountain villages, where there are concerns that more victims may still be trapped and in need of assistance.
In the village of Amizmiz, near the earthquake’s epicenter, rescue workers used their bare hands to search through the rubble. The fallen debris blocked the narrow streets, and outside a hospital, about 10 bodies were covered in blankets while grieving relatives stood close by.
One resident, Mohamed Azaw, shared his experience, saying, “When I felt the ground shaking and my house tilting, I rushed to get my children out. Unfortunately, my neighbors couldn’t do the same.” Sadly, no one from that family was found alive. The father and son were discovered deceased, and they are still searching for the mother and daughter.
Rescuers carefully navigated the collapsed floors of a building in Amizmiz, with bits of carpet and furniture visible amidst the rubble. People formed a long queue outside the only open shop, seeking supplies. Rescuers faced significant challenges, including boulders blocking the road from Amizmiz to a nearby village.
Affected Areas of Morocco
The province of Al-Haouz, where the earthquake’s epicenter was situated, recorded the highest number of casualties, with 1,293 deaths, followed by the province of Taroudant with 452.
In the Asni area, approximately 40 km south of Marrakech, nearly all the houses were damaged, forcing villagers to prepare for an overnight stay outside. Food supplies were limited because roofs had collapsed on kitchens, according to villager Mohamed Ouhammo.
Montasir Itri, a resident of Asni, mentioned ongoing efforts to find survivors: “Our neighbors are trapped under the rubble, and people in the village are working tirelessly to rescue them using whatever resources are available.”
Tansghart, a village in the Ansi area located on the side of a valley as the road from Marrakech ascends into the High Atlas, suffered the most severe damage witnessed by Reuters. The once-beautiful houses clinging to the steep hillside were cracked open by the powerful tremors. Some still-standing structures had significant portions of their walls or plaster missing, and two mosque minarets had collapsed.
Abdellatif Ait Bella, a laborer, lay on the ground with limited mobility and speech due to injuries caused by falling debris. His wife, Saida Bodchich, expressed concern for their family of six, as he was their sole breadwinner. She said, “We have no home to take him to and have had no food since yesterday. We can only rely on God.”