Within the small village of Algo, excessive within the Atlas Mountains, screams got here from underneath the rubble within the terrifying moments following the earthquake.
However because the hours handed and no specialised rescue groups appeared to help the villagers’ determined efforts, the screams turned to silence.
Three days later, Spanish firefighters, who have been the primary skilled groups to achieve the devastated group, have been hoping that they had not run out of time.
As they made their method nimbly by crumbling streets and collapsed arches, their expertise instructed them there was no hope.
The tough actuality strengthened their canine’ response. Igor and Teddy have been educated to bark after they discover indicators of life.
The silence was deafening.
“There’s nothing we are able to do right here,” stated Juan Lopez, a firefighter responding to his second earthquake ever.
The primary was when his workforce rushed to Turkey final February after the devastating earthquake that struck the nation. The massive worldwide response helped obtain some unimaginable moments as these trapped have been pulled from the rubble, even days later.
“Right here in Morocco, the homes are product of rocks,” Lopez stated. “In Turkey, they have been product of metal and are a lot stronger.”
“We can’t discover anybody right here,” he stated, whereas his colleagues gently shook their heads in settlement.
We adopted the workforce as they moved to the subsequent village.
There is no such thing as a good place to have an earthquake however there are few worse than Ait Hamid. He was already teetering on the sting of the mountainside, however what was left of him was now tumbling over the abyss.
It’s troublesome to fathom that this mangled pile of brick and stone was house to twenty-eight individuals. Solely seven survived.
As we made our technique to the highest of the rubble pile, Omar Ait Mehdi seemed out on the empty valley.
Behind him have been 20 males working with picks, shovels and arms.
Omar’s spouse was within the hospital. His daughters: Hanan (17 years previous) and Khadija (14 years previous) haven’t but been discovered.
Abruptly there was a flurry of exercise and an outbreak of prayer.
Lastly, the women’ our bodies have been discovered.
Because the blankets and stretcher have been being handed in direction of the highest of the wreckage, Omar instructed us in a relaxed voice that he wished to ship a message.
“I would like individuals to assist me. I would like the world to assist me. I misplaced my youngsters, my house, all the pieces I had,” he stated.
Moroccan authorities are underneath stress to simply accept assist from extra international locations. To date, help has solely been acquired from 4 international locations, whereas others, together with France and Germany, have been rejected.
Hamed, Hanan and Khadija’s uncle, arrived to supply condolences, however he burst into tears.
Hamed stated: “We’re in dire want of assist. We’d like somebody to offer it to us.”