Morocco quake: Rescuers yet to reach some devastated villages
Morocco quake: Rescuers yet to reach some devastated villages: After spending a fourth night outside, many survivors of Morocco’s worst earthquake in almost a century were battling in improvised shelters on Tuesday. Rescuers had not yet reached distant mountain communities that saw some of the worst destruction.
The 6.8 magnitude earthquake that occurred late on Friday in the High Atlas Mountains claimed 2,862 lives and wounded 2,562 more, although those numbers were expected to grow.
Spain, Britain, and Qatari rescuers were assisting Morocco’s search teams, but representatives from Italy, Belgium, France, and Germany said their offers of assistance were still pending approval.
Not least since many of the typical mud brick dwellings that are popular in the mountain communities disintegrated to clay debris without leaving air pockets, hopes of locating survivors under the wreckage were dwindling.
The situation on Tuesday was uneven since the hardest-hit region is in a remote, rocky area. While supplies were being brought in and some organized tent camps were being put up, in other areas no relief had reached at all because routes were blocked by boulders and soil that had been moved by the earthquake.
Some had fled their damaged villages and were camping out in the open along the Tizi n’Test route, which links rural regions with Marrakech, with hurriedly packed packs.
Hamid Ait Bouyali, 40, who was waiting by the roadside, said that “the authorities are focusing on the bigger communities and not the remote villages that are worst affected.” “The dead are still buried under the rubble in some villages.”
Since the earthquake, several villages have said that they have been without electricity or phone service and that they were forced to save loved ones and extricate deceased corpses from under their collapsed houses on their own.
Numerous Moroccan soldiers, search and rescue teams, and medical professionals were searching for buried persons and providing assistance to survivors in the heavily damaged town of Talat N’Yaaqoub.
Common people were also pitching in to assist, such as 36-year-old Brahim Daldali, who rode his motorcycle from Marrakesh to help distribute blankets, clothing, water, and food that friends had contributed.
Some of the earthquake’s victims who were left homeless by the tremor had received yellow tents from the authorities in Amizmiz, a sizable community at the foot of the mountains that has become a center for relief efforts; others were still taking cover beneath blankets.
“I’m very afraid. If it rains, what will we do? said Noureddine Bo Ikerouane, a carpenter who was camped in a makeshift tent made of blankets with his wife, mother-in-law, and two boys, one of whom has autism.
The fear of a collapse, according to tailor Omar Aneflous, has made even those whose houses were still standing too afraid to return.
SOME AID OFFERED BUT NOT TAKEN
The ancient city of Marrakech, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, suffered damage to many of its antique structures. The epicenter of the earthquake was around 72 km (45 miles) southwest of the city. Significant damage was also done to the historically important Tinmel Mosque, which dates back to the 12th century.
The administration wants to hold the meetings, and over 10,000 people are anticipated, according to sources.
Morocco has welcomed offers of assistance from the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Spain, who have all sent search and rescue experts with sniffer dogs. Algeria said that it has committed three aircraft to the rescue and relief effort.
According to State TV, the Moroccan administration may eventually accept offers of assistance from other nations.
France, Germany, Italy, and Belgium all agreed that Morocco had declined their offers of assistance.
Although Morocco had opted to only accept help from nations with whom it had strong ties, Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Taji told radio station RTL that Germany did not believe the choice was political.
The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), which issued an emergency appeal for earthquake victims on Tuesday, has Caroline Holt, its worldwide director of operations, defending Morocco’s actions.
“I believe that the Moroccan administration is being cautious in its opening up and is considering offers of bilateral help from other nations. And basically, as we’ve seen, concentrating on that window for search and rescue operations before it regrettably shuts, which is in the next hours,” the spokesperson said.
Others voiced their annoyance at not being able to enter and assist.
An earthquake-specialist French NGO called Secouristes Sans Frontieres (Rescuers Without Borders) has offered a team of nine people who are prepared to travel to the Moroccan embassy in Paris, but Arnaud Fraisse says Rabat has not responded.
“We are here to work urgently, to save people under the rubble, not to discover corpses, and now, four days later, it is too late to leave,” he said. “Our hearts hurt over this.”
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