Around 530 schools and 55 boarding schools were destroyed or damaged in the 6.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Morocco on Friday. The children are traumatized.
The smell of death wafted through the village of Imi N’Tala, located in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, where last week’s catastrophic earthquake razed the hamlet’s mudbrick buildings and killed dozens of inhabitants.
Bulldozers and responders dug through the rubble around the clock in hopes of finding the eight to 10 bodies still beneath, although an aftershock Wednesday evening shook already frayed nerves.
“The mountain split in two and started to fall. The houses were completely destroyed,” said local resident Ait Ougadir Al Houcine, as teams worked to recover the bodies, including of his sister.
“It’s all gone.”
Lives have been changed forever. In each town and village affected, exhausted rescuers are also trying to bring smiles back to children traumatized by the disaster.
Around 530 schools and 55 boarding schools were destroyed or damaged. Classes have been suspended.
“The ceiling of my room collapsed, it was dark, I was calling my father and mother under the rubble,” remembers Houda, a child.
“I heard people calling to find me, I thought it was the end of the world. They managed to save me and my mother, but my little sister and my father died.”
“I’m afraid of another shake,” said another little girl called Nora.
“I’m worried about my mother, she was pregnant and the baby died.”