Miraculous Rescues Amid Chaos: Morocco Quake Survivors Face Desperation in Unaided Villages!

On Tuesday, many survivors of Morocco’s most powerful earthquake in over a century found themselves struggling in makeshift shelters. This was their fourth night outside, and rescuers had yet to reach the remote mountain villages that suffered some of the worst devastation.

The death toll from the 6.8 magnitude quake that struck the High Atlas Mountains on Friday stood at 2,862, with 2,562 people injured, and these numbers were expected to increase.

Rescue teams from Spain, Britain, and Qatar were assisting Morocco’s search efforts, and Italy, Belgium, France, and Germany had all offered to send specialists, pending approval from the Moroccan government.

Hopes of finding survivors under the rubble were dwindling, primarily because many traditional mud brick houses in the mountain villages had crumbled without leaving air pockets.

Survivors along the Tizi n’Test road, which passes through remote areas, criticized the government’s rescue efforts, alleging that it was neglecting the most affected remote villages.

Hamid Ait Bouyali, 40, who spent the night on the outskirts of Rakte, said, “The problem is that the authorities are focusing on the larger communities and neglecting the remote villages that are in the worst condition.”

Some villages had yet to receive any assistance due to blocked roads caused by landslides.

In Amizmiz, a large village at the base of the mountains turned aid center, some quake victims had been provided with yellow tents by the authorities, but others were still sheltering under blankets.

Noureddine Bo Ikerouane, a carpenter, expressed his fear, saying, “I am so scared. What will we do if it rains?” He was camping with his wife, mother-in-law, and two sons, one of whom is autistic, in an improvised tent made from blankets.

Omar Aneflous, a tailor, explained that even those whose homes were still standing were too afraid to return due to the risk of collapse. “Probably we will stay here for months or a year. People won’t go home because their homes risk falling. God knows how long we will stay here,” he said.

The only cafe open in the area was crowded with people seeking coffee and comfort, despite visible cracks and debris on the floor.

The epicenter of the quake was approximately 72 km (45 miles) southwest of Marrakech, where some historical buildings in the old city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, were damaged. The quake also caused significant damage to the historically significant 12th-century Tinmel Mosque.

However, the more modern parts of Marrakech, including a site near the airport slated for IMF and World Bank meetings next month, remained largely unaffected.

The government planned to proceed with the meetings, which were expected to host over 10,000 people, despite the earthquake’s aftermath.

Morocco had accepted aid offers from Spain and Britain, both of which sent search-and-rescue specialists with sniffer dogs, as well as from the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Algeria had allocated three planes for transporting rescue personnel and aid.

While state TV reported that the Moroccan government might accept additional relief offers from other countries in the future, Italy and Belgium, along with France and Germany, were still awaiting requests from Morocco. German officials clarified that they did not view the delay as political, while Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Taji mentioned that Morocco had chosen to accept aid only from countries with which it had close relations.


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