Morocco faced a devastating earthquake, causing chaos and loss. By early Monday, the number of injured and deceased kept increasing as rescuers worked tirelessly, pulling people from the debris in villages turned to ruins. Both local and international aid workers, along with law enforcement, poured into the region near Marrakech, the area most affected by the powerful 6.8 quake and its subsequent aftershocks from Friday night.
Many locals awaited basic necessities like food, water, and power, while massive rocks obstructed mountainous routes.
Most fatalities, tallying at least 2,122 by Sunday, occurred in Marrakech and five neighboring provinces close to the quake’s center. Rescue teams, alongside dogs, combed through the wreckage, seeking survivors and recovering lost souls.
On Friday, a big quake knocked down buildings that just couldn’t stand the shaking. People got stuck under bricks and many ran away scared. Then, on Sunday, another smaller shake happened, says the U.S. rock study group.
With all the mess, people didn’t have much time to be sad. They just tried to save what was left of their stuff.
Khadija Fairouje had tears in her eyes. She and some people were carrying things on a rocky road. Just two days before, she lost her daughter and three little grandkids, ages 4 to 11, when their house fell while they were asleep.
“Nothing’s left. Everything fell,” her sister, Hafida Fairouje, said.
In Amizmiz, help took a while to show up. It looked like a big part of the town, with its orange and red stone houses on the hillside, was gone. Even a tall part of a mosque had fallen over.
“It’s a catastrophe,” said Salah Ancheu, who’s 28. “We don’t know what the future is. The aid remains insufficient.”
The biggest mess was in small places in the countryside. It’s tough to get there because big rocks blocked the wavy mountain roads.
All over Morocco, flags were down low. King Mohammed VI said everyone should be sad for three days, starting Sunday. Soldiers were looking for people, and the king said to send water, food, and places to stay for those without homes.
Some people even slept outside or on park benches in Marrakech.
People, both tourists and locals, stood in line to give blood.
“I did not even think about it twice,” Jalila Guerina told the news. “especially in the conditions where people are dying, especially at this moment when they are needing help, any help.” She said it’s her job as someone from Morocco.
Rescuers, with help from soldiers and cops, looked through broken homes in a far-off town called Adassil, close to where the quake started. Army trucks brought in big machines to clean up the roads, said the news report.
Heartbroken moms and dads cried on the phone, sharing the sad news of losing their kids.
Lots of hurt people from the small village of Tikht, with about 800 people, were rushed to a big hospital in Marrakech.
Many got stuck under fallen stuff.
On Friday, a really big shake happened at 11:11 at night and lasted a bit, the US rock study people said. Then, a smaller shake came soon after. This happened because of two big pieces of ground bumping into each other. When it’s not too deep, it can be worse.
This was the biggest shake in this part of Africa in over 100 years, the records say. But it wasn’t the one with the most lost lives. In 1960, a big quake near Agadir took away 12,000 lives. After that, Morocco tried to make safer houses, but some, especially in the country, aren’t made for big shakes.