*This post contains syndicated content from the New York Times, the Guardian, and Al Jazeera.
Morocco Races to Dig Out Survivors After Strongest Quake in 100 Years
The death toll from the earthquake has risen to at least 2,122 people, according to Moroccan state television, and more than 2,421 people are injured.
A magnitude-6.8 earthquake hit Marrakech and surrounding regions in Morocco late Friday night, 8 September. The extent of the damage remained unclear because the hardest-hit communities are in the High Atlas Mountains, where the few roads appeared to be blocked by debris and where phone service and electricity have been knocked out.
“That night, everyone was screaming,” said Zahra Id al-Houcine speaking with the New York Times, who was watching a few of her male neighbours sifting through the debris of her collapsed house in search of her relatives on Sunday afternoon. “We heard screams until we stopped hearing anything.”
The list of loved ones Ms. Id al-Houcine knows she lost in the earthquake is unbearably long: her late husband’s son, the son’s wife and three of their children, including a baby, all of whom had lived with her. Then there are those she knew must have died, even if she had not yet seen their bodies: A 5-year-old and the two children of her husband’s brother.
When the house started shaking, Ms. Id al-Houcine had just gotten into bed and was about to put on the late-night radio program she started listening to earlier this year to keep herself company after her husband died, one in which Moroccans discussed their problems and their life stories. Then the ceiling fell on her “like an elevator,” she said.
As night fell on Sunday, families whose houses had been destroyed or were unsafe prepared to sleep behind makeshift shelters of colourful fabric and plastic tarps held down by rocks or in yellow tents provided by firefighters. Others concerned about aftershocks slept out in the open.
In villages like Azgour, which lies between two ridges of the Atlas Mountains south of Marrakesh, homes are commonly built of mud bricks, a traditional construction method that leaves them highly vulnerable to earthquakes and heavy rains. The quake reduced half the homes in Azgour to rubble and left the remaining ones uninhabitable.
Pray For Morocco:
- For those who are grieving, injured, or without their homes, that God will be close to them and comfort them in this time.
- That rescuers will swiftly find those who are still buried under the rubble.
- That those who don’t yet know Jesus will be drawn to Him in their pain and that they will know the love of God for them.
- That the Church in Morocco will shine as a light and be a place of refuge for the hurting in the midst of the despair.
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