Dutch Moroccans try (in vain) to reach family Yesterday, 8:23 PM in Abroad Karima (40) and Fatima (35) woke up this morning to the news that family has died or been buried under the rubble.

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Rescuers search the rubble in the town of Moulay Brahim
NOS News
  • Soehayla Halouchi

    editor Online

  • Soehayla Halouchi

    editor Online

Near the epicenter of the earthquake that struck the south of Morocco last night, the family of Karima (40) from Eindhoven lives in Douar Tafghaght. It is one of the many villages in the Atlas Mountains that are difficult to reach and where help took a long time.

The village where her father was born has been almost completely destroyed. Karima, who was on holiday in Rabat, also felt tremors there. When she contacted her family, she heard that a number of relatives had been buried under the rubble.

“Everything was flat, it was dark. After a long night, help only came to the remote village in the morning. My cousin, his wife and small children were under the rubble. When we heard that the tremors there were even more intense, they went son from Marrakech to the village by moped to look for his parents,” says Karima. A journey that normally takes twenty minutes, but now took an hour and a half due to the poor condition of the road.

After eight hours of searching, this son, 19-year-old Redouan, managed to find his parents and brother and sister. They are now in a hospital in Marrakech. Redouan tells NOS that they suffered serious injuries, but are fortunate that they survived

“Internal bleeding, broken bones. If they had a concrete roof, the tremors would have been fatal,” says Redouan.

“It is thanks to the people who survived that people could be rescued from the rubble. These types of villages were the hardest hit by the earthquake but at the same time the most difficult to reach,” Karima continues.

She is trying to reach other family members, but she hasn’t heard from some. “I fear the worst and try to stay in touch with people from the village that I can get hold of.” The damage to the road surface makes it too dangerous for her to go into the mountains herself.

Mountain villages close to epicenter hit hard: ‘Everything is destroyed’

Not only Karima woke up this morning with the terrible news. Fatima (35) also lost family members due to the earthquake. “Suddenly you hear: an earthquake in Morocco, and then exactly the region where my family lives, Al Haouz.”

“Family members of mine, a family with two children, died. They were inside when their house collapsed,” Fatima heard from her sister-in-law.

Her parents, who live in Morocco part of the year, also experienced the earthquake up close, but were unharmed. “They had to sleep in the car, and now they stay outside almost all day. They are afraid of aftershocks.”

Both Karima and Fatima are committed to the villages where their roots lie. Fatima has started a fundraising campaign for the damage to houses in the Al Haouz region.

Karima, who previously planned to return to the Netherlands, now wants to stay. “I first want to know what I can do for the village. People need basic facilities, food, water, a roof over their heads. As soon as it is safe enough to go there, I want to help.”

  • First initiatives for aid to Morocco launched: ‘Something must be done’
  • Moroccan earthquake death toll exceeds 2,000 • Three days of national mourning
  • Abroad

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