"It's one of the worst experiences of my life"
This Sunday morning one of the first flights from Marrakech arrived at El Prat airport after the earthquake that shook Morocco. The passengers have arrived excited and shocked by the event.
"It is one of the worst experiences of my life," explained Xavier, who was on a route through the Atlas with other Catalans. They were 30 kilometers from the epicenter and were precisely celebrating their birthday when it happened: "It seemed like it was passing us a meter below." Another traveler, Fernando, who was traveling on business, says that he was impressed to see "thousands of people sleeping on the street." The relatives who were waiting for them at the airport were not reassured until they saw them cross the door.
sleeping on a football field
The El Prat airport has experienced dozens of emotional scenes this Sunday between family and friends who have had a very complicated and nervous last few hours. The first flights with passengers from Morocco have arrived in Catalonia.
Xavier Falguera is one of the people who was traveling on a five-day horseback ride through the Atlas, when the earthquake looted everything. He comments that they were going with a group of friends and on Friday they were having dinner, 30 kilometers from the epicenter, when suddenly "it seemed that the subway passed underneath and the walls began to fall." Xavier says that they ended up spending the whole night outdoors and that they were "quite scared."
Those who were also hiking in the desert during the earthquake are Antonio and his friends. "Suddenly the house started to move, knives were falling" and "my vision was denied," he commented. In his case, they ended up sleeping on a soccer field and he explains that they experienced scenes of panic with people running and crying.
Other passengers explain that they were in Marrakech for work reasons. Fernando arrived on Friday night to attend a conference. He already experienced a similar situation years ago in Lisbon and comments that he immediately knew that they were suffering an earthquake. Now, what has impacted him the most is seeing thousands of people on the streets who have been left homeless or who are suffering from new aftershocks.
Desperation from Catalonia
The uncertainty was also complicated for the friends and relatives of all of them who did not breathe easy until they saw them arrive at the terminal.
Francisco has arrived early to wait for his wife and daughter. He explains that he has been through "a lot of nerves" because he has had a lot of trouble contacting them these days. Furthermore, he was uneasy about the consequences, in case of possible aftershocks. Also because of everything he could see, his 16-year-old daughter.
Although some of them arrive visibly affected, they assure that they are still not sufficiently aware of everything they have experienced. The difficult thing, they explain, is having left behind “many sorrows and miseries.” They have seen buildings and entire homes demolished and people sleeping in the streets because they have been left with nothing and, they comment, that they have a feeling of “helplessness for not being able to help the people who were there”.
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