From the Ground in Morocco: Hana’s Firsthand Experience After the Earthquake
Hana el Abdallaoui, from our programmes team at Islamic Relief, shares a poignant firsthand account of the devastation she witnessed in Morocco. Her narrative sheds light on the immediacy and depth of the crisis:
I’m Hana el Abdallaoui from the programmes team at Islamic Relief.
I landed in Marrakech with some colleagues just yesterday evening. Our introduction to Morocco was an immediate and unsettling one. As we were leaving the airport, we were urgently asked to get out of the car due to an aftershock. Panic was everywhere; people fled from the airport, seeking safety in the midst of the chaos.
We headed to the city centre to assess the situation. There, we encountered individuals sleeping on the streets beneath blankets. Many of them chose the open air over their homes, fearing the instability of structures that had already suffered damage.
Early the next morning, we travelled to Chichaoua, a province roughly 80km from Marrakech. Our first meeting was with members of the Moroccan Red Crescent. Together, we journeyed to some of the most affected villages in the Adassil region within Chichaoua province.
One such village, Tikekht, had remained isolated until our arrival. The devastation was overwhelming: out of 80 residents, a mere six had survived. Each and every house was reduced to rubble. Interactions with the villagers painted tales of profound loss. One individual had lost as many as 18 relatives. Another woman, tears in her eyes, revealed she had no one left – her entire family was gone.
We also visited Tagadirt, home to 70 families. Tragically, 18 of its inhabitants lost their lives, including a pregnant woman just two days shy of her due date. Another heartrending encounter was with a man who discovered his in-laws under the wreckage.
From these firsthand observations, the pressing needs became evident: food, tents for shelter, and essential hygiene products, with a special emphasis on meeting the unique needs of women. The emotional toll was palpable; many residents sought us out, eager to share their heart-wrenching stories, needing to voice their pain.
We had a discussion with the governor of the Adassil area, who underscored the sheer scale of the damage: over 5,000 buildings in the area lay in ruins.
In light of these findings, we’re now developing a response plan based on the needs assessment, collaborating closely with local partners.
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Together, we have the power to make a tangible difference. Your support can provide critical essentials like food, water, shelter, and emotional support to those who need it most. Don’t let them face this calamity alone. Stand with them and be a beacon of hope in their darkest hour and make an impact that will last a lifetime.