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Morocco earthquake: The scars, the Rubble and the Spirit to Rebuild

Neelam Rahim | neelam@radioislam.co.za

3-minute read
21 September 2023 | 18:04 CAT

Image: Head Topics

Just over a week later, the earthquake maimed a six-century-old mosque in one of Amizmiz’s oldest neighbourhoods, taking a bite out of the minaret.

In Amizmiz, many died, and some bodies still haven’t been recovered. The buildings are unsafe, so almost everyone has left their homes, while the government has given some shelter. Beyond the physical devastation, soldiers and aid workers say, it is becoming increasingly clear that many survivors face severe mental suffering.

The separation of families, insecurity, loss of livelihoods and disruption of social contacts are all potential psychological problems, according to the WHO, which recommends urgent care to prevent the development of post-traumatic stress disorder. [AFP]

The magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit Morocco on September 8, causing mass deaths in mountain villages that collapsed.

A magnitude 4.9 aftershock hit 19 minutes later.

Entire villages higher up in the mountains were levelled. In many, at least half of the population appears to have died.

“The fatalities stand at around 3,000 people and injuries number doubles at more than 6,000. In the current relief efforts, the government has sent out rescue teams in the villages and have opened the roads,” said Dr. Mohamed Chtatou, Professor of Education Science at the University in Rabat. He is a political analyst with Moroccan, Gulf, French, Italian and British media on politics and culture in the Middle East, Islam and Islamism, and terrorism.

“The villages in the high Atlas Mountains are filled with raggod rain and are difficult to reach. There is a relief rescue mission which goes about very quickly and very well,” Dr Chtatou added.

Since the earthquake struck, Moroccans have clubbed together to buy water and juice, cooking oil and bread, sanitary products and blankets, everything the survivors might need.

They have driven into the heart of these mountains, along roads where an aftershock could send rocks raining down from the steep hillsides to help local people.

Listen to the full interview with Moulana Junaid Kharsany on The Daily Round-Up.

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