Morocco earthquake: Those who survived the earthquake are now bracing for the cold and rain of winter | World News

Morocco earthquake: Those who survived the earthquake are now bracing for the cold and rain of winter | World News

From a distance the town of Moulay Brahim looks pretty much abandoned.

Even when we arrived, I could only see a handful of people in small pockets sitting under tarpaulin sheets.

We walked through deserted streets, lined by destroyed houses, I felt like we were alone.

Morocco’s deadly earthquake – in pictures

But as we walked through a narrow alleyway with teetering buildings towering over us, we started to hear the murmur of people.

Turning the corner, we were greeted by the sight of hundreds of men, women, and children sitting in a makeshift camp, in a sort of large courtyard.

Moulay Brahim
Zahera Benaddi says she has been well looked after since the quake

Children ran around while their mothers chatted, and the men began to unload a consignment of large tents that have been donated.

This is their life now – survivors – but a life in limbo, and worst of all, and they are all talking about it, they are sitting here knowing the rains of winter will begin and the temperature will plummet.

Although there is progress reaching the communities still cut off from the world by this earthquakemany still rely on relief supplies dropped off the backs of chinooks.

They will be rescued once the impassable mountain roads are cleared, but it will take time.

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‘Where are these people going to go?’

Damaged town of Moulay Brahim

The problem for the relief effort is that it covers huge, remote areas.

And even in towns that have been reached they still have to fend for themselves and build cover, and they are doing it between buildings that are clearly unsafe and could collapse at any time.

The biggest concern for the earthquake survivors here is the weather.

Moulay Brahim
Moulay Brahim

They are homeless, and living on the street, in the rubble.

So far there is no clue how they will be looked after in the weeks and months ahead.

53-year-old Zahera Benaddi says they have been well looked after with food and shelter donations, but the weather is her absolute biggest concern.

“The problem is the cold and rain is coming,” she told me.

“Only God knows what will happen in the future, and how long we will sleep in the street, or if we can find someone to build us a room to stay out of the cold… The winter is coming, it will rain and there will be lots of water on the ground, that’s the problem.”

This village is built into the side of a mountain and floods in the rainy season are common.

Moulay Brahim

Zahera worries when the water comes it will sweep through their tents, making them uninhabitable and probably causing damaged houses to collapse.

The whole town is unstable already.

Read more:
Hope fading in town where stench of dead bodies is ‘overpowering’
Inside the town ‘expecting 2,000 dead’
Dad killed by rubble as he tried to protect son

Hasnaa Zahrite has the same fears. I met her as she washed her family’s clothes in a plastic bucket in the street.

She shows me her arms and hands, they are bruised and swollen.

Moulay Brahim
Hasnaa Zahrite washes her family’s clothes in a plastic bucket in the street

Using her bare hands, Hasnaa dug through the rubble of her collapsed home to rescue her two children.

She saved their lives, but what now, she asks.

“I am anxious about the future because I have very small children, the house is gone, and now we find ourselves in the street – we don’t have anywhere to go, and now the cold and the winter is coming… we don’t have any clothes, nowhere to live, we are homeless, as you can see.”

Moulay Brahim
Moulay Brahim

This emergency is still in its early days of course, but you get the sense more problems are just around the corner.

There are of course no answers about the future right now because the present disaster continues.

So the thousands of survivors high in the Atlas Mountains simply have to wait, bedding down outside night after night.

This disaster is ongoing, it might even get worse.

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