Nameless cities, anonymous graves at ground zero of the Moroccan earthquake

Tikekht disappeared without ever being on the maps. Like so many other towns, villages and towns in the High Atlas, the steepest and most remote part of the mountain range has been reduced to rubble by climate change Earthquake last Friday. Of the estimated 350 residents, eighty have died and are already buried in mass graves, as their people are not listed in any register; More than a hundred people are recovering in hospitals in the region. especially in Marrakesh, and the rest wait in Moroccan disaster relief tents for news about their future.

Now the survivors only have to cry, but almost silently, without ceasing to care for the living, including many elderly people and children, four days after the disaster the largest earthquake in Morocco’s contemporary history, They were already playing ball among the rubble of their own homes and just a few meters from where they were buried these days, the distant sand shows it, perhaps their parents, cousins ​​​​or grandparents.

None of the survivors consider leaving the city where their ancestors are buried. Moroccan Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch assures that the affected families will be compensated so that they can rebuild their homes. really in it Tikekht, which belongs to Chichaua, one of the most disadvantaged provinces, There is little to rebuild, rather everything must be rebuilt. Invent a new life and a new dignity for the survivors of this martyred village that was never on the map.

It’s been two days since he stopped looking for someone in the city. This Sunday, Tikekht was an open-air wake at more than 1,500 meters above sea level. Relatives of the deceased, traveling from other parts of the Atlas or perhaps further afield, traveled by car or on foot up the almost impassable path that leads them into the city to try to comfort the living with hugs. A gendarme jokes with a group of children while their mothers and grandmothers collect blankets, sugar, milk, mineral water, bread and tea. Nothing more is necessary here for the time being. They’re going to run out of power soon and we have to hurry.

Meanwhile, the death toll is getting dangerously close. 3,000 dead and more than 5,500 injured. Everyone knows that the numbers will continue to rise. Even if? Only Allah knows.

Nobody wants to raise their arms yet. From Amizmiz, ten thousand souls, at the foot of the mountains and in the hardest-hit province of Al Hauz, Spanish, British and Qatari soldiers have turned a wasteland into a base camp. The UME soldiers, the pride of Spain, who were the first on the scene, are still waiting for orders from the Moroccan civil protection agency. Several of them headed to a village near Talal n’Yacub, one of the communities hardest hit by the earthquake, on Tuesday morning in search of survivors. In the city we found Paolo, son of an Asturian and Italian mother and living in London. He was in Ouarzazate when the earthquake occurred. “I will not go. I have been in Morocco for three weeks, a country that has given me a lot and where I come whenever I can.” “This morning I went to the bank, withdrew money from an ATM and bought 15 blankets that I distributed among people,” he tells LA RAZÓN. In Tikekht as in Amizmiz there is fear of cold, hunger and epidemics. What worries us most is having a roof before winter,” admits Rachid, a neighbor in his 30s.

But inevitably, hopes begin to fade. The first seventy-two hours are crucial. Of course, UME senior sergeant Jesús Pastor admits to La Razón that there is little chance of finding people alive. The difficult access to the valleys and to the buildings, houses essentially made of mud and straw, which, when collapsed, prevent the creation of “habitats”, gradually turning the search for survivors into a chimera. But the Spaniards were the first to arrive last Saturday and, as they admit, they will also be the last to leave.

The earthquake claimed eighty lives in this city and leaves many questions. Why she? What did they do wrong in another time or in another life? Why are luxury and exuberance only 50 or 60 kilometers away? How alone the dead are. How alone the residents of this city remain in the Atlas. And all the others.

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