This week, an MSF team travelled to Morocco's Chichaoua Province, located in Marrakesh-Safi, to evaluate the needs of the people living in the isolated villages affected by the strong earthquake that struck the country on September 8, 2023

Morocco: MSF's eye-witness account of earthquake's impact

On Thursday, September 14, 2023

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Carlos Rubio, MSF’s emergency coordinator reports on the situation

Most of the houses in the small villages we visited were damaged because they were constructed out of flimsy materials like mud".

"Significant numbers of people have been killed and injured. In addition, the roads have been impacted. However, the immediate and urgent medical and humanitarian needs were met in the days following the emergency thanks to the massive mobilization of the Moroccan authorities and local civil society.

"Patients who required medical attention have already been transferred to the Chichaoua and Marrakech central hospitals. Additionally, the majority of the residents of the affected villages had already received initial aid in the form of food, water, blankets, tents, and other necessities. We might want to look into the scarce availability of mental health services, as a gap we identified, since there is only one psychiatrist and no psychologists working in this province with 400,000 residents. However, there are incident mobilization efforts for psychological support ongoing in some areas, which we will also assess, as it is necessary to enhance psychological support as part of the ongoing response efforts.”

Abouslam, resident of Tisahkt, an isolated village in Morocco's Chichaoua Province, located in Marrakesh-Safi. He has been affected by the strong earthquake that struck the country on 8 September 2023

Abouslam, resident of Tisahkt village says:  

“I was at the roundabout next Douirenne university when the earthquake occurred. Half of the village buildings were destroyed completely, and the rest was severely damaged. We slept outside that night; however, we received support, and we’re receiving more and more. We would like to thank all the people who supported us. They also assessed our house, and we hope they will help rebuild it”.   

Many people also lost their herd, sheep, cows, some lost 10, some lost 35 or 40. May God compensate them”.