Earthquake Devastates Historic Marrakech, As Many Sleep Outdoors For A Second Night
An earthquake devastates historic Marrakech, as many sleep outdoors for a second night. Several families endured another restless night on the streets, huddling together as this seismic event, which is the deadliest in 50 years, left many with a sense of unease, as they questioned the safety of their homes and feared potential aftershocks.
The atmosphere in Marrakech, located approximately 70 km (45 miles) northeast of the earthquake's epicenter, is characterized by uncertainty. Residents are anxious about the condition of their houses following the earthquake, which has claimed the lives of more than 2,000 people. Additionally, there is a looming concern that future aftershocks could further jeopardize their homes in the hours and days ahead.
Following the earthquake that struck on Friday, the most severe in Morocco since 1960, Mouhamad Ayat Elhaj, aged 51, has been sleeping on the streets near the historic medina of the city. He and his family took this precaution after discovering signs of damage to their home, such as noticeable cracks in the walls.
I cannot sleep there. I am asking the authorities to help me and bring in an expert to assess whether it is possible for me to return to the house or not. If there is a risk, I will not return to the house.- Mouhamad Ayat Elhaj
In the wake of Friday's earthquake in Morocco, numerous individuals opted to spend the night outdoors. By Saturday, the Ministry of Interior reported a grim tally of 2,012 lives lost and 2,059 people injured due to the seismic event.
COPYRIGHT_BP: Published on https://bingepost.com/earthquake-devastates-historic-marrakech-as-many-sleep-outdoors-for-a-second-night/ by Cecilia Jones on 2023-09-11T02:06:17.909Z
The earthquake inflicted damage upon segments of Marrakech's historic medina, a beloved tourist destination cherished by both Moroccans and foreigners. On Saturday, amidst the aftermath, tourists and locals wandered through the ancient city, capturing photographs of the destruction and dining at renowned restaurants. Simultaneously, others assembled in the main square to seek refuge and rest.
A modest mosque situated at the core of Marrakech's historic Medina, within the bustling market area, was a cherished place of worship for the hundreds of traders. However, it is now inaccessible.
Positioned at the corner of the renowned Jemaa el-Fna square, the mosque boasted a stunning tower adorned with intricate white triangle decorations. However, in the wake of the formidable earthquake that shook the region on Friday night, the picturesque structure has been dramatically transformed. The ornate tower, once a symbol of its beauty, has been reduced to a mere fragment - just a solitary, bare remnant of bricks protruding from the debris.
Noureddine Lahbabi, a 68-year-old retiree with four children, expressed his distress over the damage inflicted upon people's homes as he, too, made preparations to spend a second night outdoors.
"It's a painful experience. When this happens to your brother or sister, it's really painful," he said.
Mohamed Aithadi, a Moroccan-American, was inspecting the mosque's damage in the medina on Saturday, close to where his mother resides. He recounted being in the medina's central square when the earthquake occurred and, on Saturday, he encouraged Moroccans to prioritize the well-being of the most vulnerable members of their community.
I am very sure that our people, our Moroccan people, and our Moroccan community can get together and go through this safely and peacefully.- Mohamed Aithadi
Beyond the medina, families sought refuge in open areas and alongside roads. Eleven-year-old Jowra, speaking alongside her father, expressed her discomfort at having to sleep in proximity to unfamiliar individuals.
Within the Medina, numerous historic buildings have suffered varying degrees of damage, with some unfortunate structures collapsing entirely. As Sunday morning dawned, sizable mounds of rubble were scattered throughout the area, attracting stray cats searching for sustenance. For safety reasons, certain parts of the city were cordoned off with fencing, as the older buildings remained susceptible to collapse.
Beyond the city limits of Marrakech, the full extent of the earthquake's impact is gradually becoming apparent. Distressing images depicted the severe damage inflicted upon the 12th-century Tinmal Mosque in the High Atlas mountains.
The mosque is regarded as a prime exemplar of Almohad architecture, harkening back to the era when the Almohads governed Morocco, as well as portions of Algeria and Spain. In contrast, numerous other edifices in Marrakech appear to have emerged largely unscathed from the earthquake.
Marrakech's crowning jewel, the Kutubiyya mosque, remained standing unharmed on Sunday morning, notwithstanding videos depicting its violent shaking during the quake. Beyond the historic Medina, in many of the modern districts of Marrakech, the impact was scarcely noticeable. Cafes and restaurants were preparing to welcome tourists who had chosen to remain in the city on Sunday morning.