Search And Rescue Efforts In Morocco Are Replaced By Debris Removal

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When you enter the village of Douar Targa, located south of Marrakech, Morocco, the wind hitting your face carries not only dust but also a heavy smell of death. This is a place in the Atlas Mountains, only 24 kilometers from the epicenter of the earthquake. Rescue teams and volunteers are focused on a single building, removing the debris piece by piece. But they know in advance what the outcome will be.

There are no survivors from the family of three buried under the rubble.

Marzuk, who lives in a nearby village, has been coming here every day since the earthquake to help with the work.

“The team that came from Spain with specially trained dogs returned without finding anything,” he says.

This is because dogs are trained to find signs of life, not bodies.

Marzuk helped recover the bodies of three people.

“One was the body of a girl we took out of that house yesterday,” he says, pointing to some debris to his left.

Miraculous Survival Amidst Tragedy

Victim : ‘We Saved 15 People’

There are very few people in this village who came out of the rubble alive. One of them is Hasan. “Miraculously, we survived with four young men,” he says. He walks with a crutch among the rubble.

After his house collapsed on him, he managed to get out of the rubble and started helping others.

Victim: “We Were Taking Turns Visiting The Ruins And Shouting The Names Of Those Who Lived There.”

The difficult decision Hasan had to make was to leave that wreckage and move on to the next wreckage if he didn’t hear a sound. He wanted to remove the wounded, not the bodies.

“We took out 15 people with our bare hands,” he says.

Hasan points to a wooden wardrobe in the rubble and says, “We found three people under it: the grandfather, the father and their two-year-old son. We got the son out alive. The grandfather, who was buried in the rubble up to his nose, also survived. But the father died when a wooden beam fell on him,” he explains.

Search and Rescue Efforts in Douar Targa

Victim: “My Wife, Son And Daughter Died..”

We also talk to Ed-Abdullah, who lived here before the earthquake and could not get over the shock afterwards. He was in Marrakech, where he went for work, when the earthquake occurred. He and his son jumped on the motorcycle and set off towards their village.

This journey, which normally takes less than two hours, took six hours due to road damage:

“We were only able to pass by lifting the motorcycle over the rocks that fell on the road.

“When we returned to the village, I saw that the house was destroyed. “I shouted ‘Fatima, Malak, Ayman’ in front of the debris.” They dug for 12 hours with the help of their neighbors. Finally, they came across the lifeless bodies of his wife Fatima, 17-year-old son Malak and 13-year-old daughter Ayman.

Hope Amidst Desolation: Rebuilding Douar Targa

Victim: ‘We Want A House’

Bulldozers have started debris removal activities at the entrance of the village.

When the activities in the last house where search and rescue efforts are carried out are completed, the debris of that house will also be removed. Approximately 20 of the 500 people living in Douar Targa lost their lives. But none of the houses are habitable.

Many people stay in makeshift tents set up on the side of the road passing through the village.

Food and water started to reach the region again.

On the way, we ask a group of people sitting under the shade of a tree what they need.

One of them says, “A house”:

“We want a house where we can lay our heads before winter comes.”

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