In a devastating turn of events, Morocco was shaken to its core by the deadliest earthquake it has witnessed in over six decades, leaving behind a trail of destruction and heartbreak. The tranquil village of Tikht, nestled in the picturesque Atlas Mountains, bore the brunt of nature’s fury, as homes crumbled, lives were lost, and survivors were left grappling with the unimaginable aftermath.
The catastrophe unfolded on September 8, and the seismic tremors struck without mercy. Among those caught in the chaos was Mina Ait Bihi, a young woman who had been conversing with her fiancé, Omar Ait Mbarek, over the phone. The moment the earth trembled beneath her feet, their connection was abruptly severed. Mina became yet another tragic victim of the calamity, leaving her heartbroken fiancé clutching her dust-covered phone amidst the rubble. Omar, grief-stricken, could only utter, “I will rebuild my house.”
Tikht, once a thriving village with over 100 families, now lies in ruins. Its once vibrant streets are reduced to a grim landscape. Made of timbers, rubble, and shattered remnants of daily life—plates, shoes, and even intricately patterned rugs.
Many of the village’s structures, constructed with traditional materials like stone, timber, and mud mortar, proved tragically vulnerable to the powerful quake.
Survivors in Despair
For survivors like Mohssin Aksum, the earthquake has robbed them of not only their homes but also their meager possessions. He lamented, “Life is finished here,” emphasizing that even the livestock that sustained the locals was buried and now lay rotting beneath the debris. The quake had left the villagers with less than nothing.
Abdelrahman Edjal, a 23-year-old student, recounted the horror of witnessing his family’s demise. “It wasn’t something people here thought about when building their houses,” he observed. As he attempted to save his father from their collapsing home, it became evident that the injuries were too severe. His father passed away in his presence, compounding the profound tragedy.
The response to this harrowing disaster has seen the arrival of yellow emergency housing tents along the road into Tikht. Government civil protection service members have been diligently setting up camp beds near these tents. All while non-profit organizations assess the extensive needs of the remaining villagers. Beyond the immediate necessities of shelter, food, and water, the survivors are reeling in shock, struggling to comprehend the magnitude of their loss.
As the nation mourns the lives lost and the once-thriving village of Tikht fades into memory. The resilience and determination of survivors like Omar Ait Mbarek stand as a testament to the indomitable human spirit. With a heavy heart, he vows to rebuild, symbolizing the hope that, even in the darkest of times, the strength to rebuild and heal can emerge from the rubble of despair.