city Marrakesh I woke up this Saturday “in shock” after last night’s earthquake, which shook its medina and forced its citizens to sleep in the streets and squares in the clothes they were wearing, listening to the incessant ambulances around them.
In the early hours of the morning, seven hours after a 7-magnitude earthquake struck the region, killing hundreds in several Moroccan cities. The first image from Marrakech shows dozens of people covered in blankets Sleeping on sidewalks, squares, and parks, surrounded by packages and suitcases.
At eleven minutes after eleven o’clock at night, the quake, the likes of which has not been felt in decades, paralyzed the still-boiling city with shocks like “bombshells” lasting between three and four minutes, neighbors say.
The medina (old quarter), with numerous adobe buildings, took the brunt. Walking through its narrow streets, dozens of damaged houses, some half-destroyed. Warehouses selling goods for many tourists lay on the ground and appeared broken when the blinds were raised this Saturday.
Early in the morning, some neighbors were already trying to collect some of the rubble. as Abdullah Mansari, an old man helps them into a car on a street that has turned into crumbling hills. He still doesn’t dare enter his house, he admits.
“I was working in the market when I felt the earthquake. I am 36 years old and this is the first time I am experiencing this. We got scared and went to the square for shelter. “I slept there.” Abdullah means intimate and legendary Jemaa el Fna SquareHundreds of people gathered to sleep under the open sky fearing aftershocks.
Apart from Abdullah, there were also tourists Pablo Segarra21 years of age, and His four friendsThey met in Marrakech with two other Spaniards, from Elche, who slept on the cement of the square: Gorga Pagani and his father, from Bilbao.
Pablo says that with his backpacks, water bottles, slippers and some blankets, the earthquake surprised the six of them on the roof of their hostel, drinking tea.
“Suddenly everything started shaking and smoke started coming from the center of the Riyadh (hotel), so we had to run downstairs. Then we saw a very grim scene, many half-collapsed buildings and people on the ground whose condition we did not know.“, says Pablo EFE.
Gorka confirms that it happened “from one moment to the next” and that they went down the street “in shock”. “I didn’t know if I was in the cinema, there were people on the floor“, he admitted in his sleep with his father a few meters away from him.
Margarita Pacheco lived it like “a bomb”.. “There was a roar and I said to myself: ‘This is an attack,'” he says EFE She is Spanish. “It lasted about four or five minutes. I’ve never seen a house like this in my life. We dropped the television, mugs, glasses.”
Brahim, who lives in the medina and owns several buildings in the old city, instead expects a magnitude 7 earthquake. “It’s a lot,” he says before entering a craft center he owns.
The last major earthquake on record in the Maghreb occurred in 2004 in Al Hoceima in the Northern Rif region. It was 6.3 degrees and 628 people died.
There are very few people in Marrakech, but Mohamed, whose cars are parked in an open-air parking lot near the main square, will never forget the night “the ambulances didn’t stop passing by.”
(with information from EFE)
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