“We are in shock, but okay”
Nervousness, chaos and panic. Very afraid. It is the testimony of Spanish tourists and some Moroccan citizens who yesterday, with a bit more calm, after suffering for their lives while the earth trembled, explained their experience. Many of them, settled in Marrakech, were still having dinner at the time of the earthquake, others were already caught in bed.
This is the case of a tourist from Olot, Elisabet Osorio, who was in the city and who explained to channel 3/24 that they had spent the whole night “being cold and unable to sleep, we were very scared. We were already in bed when we felt the earthquake, it seemed like everything was going to fall on us. We dressed as best we could, took the tickets and passport and headed towards the square. Now – she added – she's going to see if they'll let us take our suitcases to go home. Better as soon as possible ”, she recounted.
Juan Bilbao, from Gurb, has been posting comments and videos on social networks. “We are fine, we were having dinner on the third floor of a restaurant when suddenly everything started to move.” In the attached video, people running, the air in the restaurant full of suspended dust and scenes of not knowing exactly what is happening. In another post, in which he documents with photos and videos the destruction in the surroundings and the collapsed houses, he writes: “I think we are still not aware that we have just survived the biggest earthquake in the history of Morocco. We are still in shock, but fine. "I don't know how to describe what we are experiencing."
“We are not aware of having survived the largest earthquake in Morocco,” confesses Juan Bilbao
Some of the tourists were already back in Spain yesterday without continuing their trip through Morocco. "There was a situation of nervousness, chaos and panic and although people were blocked at first, everyone went out into the streets," one of them, named Patricia, highlighted to Efe, just after landing at the Madrid-Barajas airport. on a flight from Marrakech that passed normally.
Another of the passengers, Paula, has reported that they were already asleep when the earth tremors began: “First a noise was heard and then everything began to move a lot, even the lamps fell. The first minutes we experienced a lot of fear, since you wake up, you don't know what to do and you don't know how it will affect you," said this tourist from A Coruña. It was her last night of vacation, she spent it among the rubble of the Marrakech medina.
Nacho, another tourist who was traveling with his wife and two children, said that the initial sensation he had was “that of a train that was causing noise; However, moments later the vibration increased and it was known that it was an earthquake.” They slept outdoors, but in a “fairly quiet” environment. They accompanied them to their accommodation to get their suitcases.
There are other visitors who yesterday were looking for a way to return home. Nuria, a 50-year-old from Madrid, was waiting with her husband and two daughters in a hotel in Marrakech, waiting to find free seats on a plane back to Spain, after spending the night outdoors: “We are fine, safe and grateful because in the midst of this tragedy nothing has happened to us. We were on the terrace of the hotel and we all ran out into the street,” recalls Nuria, who explained that the earthquake lasted about 13 seconds. Her hotel is near the souk.
“We are looking to see if there are gaps on any flights, but nothing, we will surely have to wait until Tuesday, which is when we were scheduled to return to Spain,” he said.
This group of Spanish tourists remains in the hotel, although they can go outside. "They have asked us not to go near the area of the souk and the medina, which must be destroyed," and so as not to hinder the rescue work. There is water and electricity in the hotel, so this Madrid resident was calm. “We are fine, nothing has happened to us, so we will be patient and we will return to Spain when we can,” she agreed, positively.
Morocco receives about 11 million tourists a year and Marrakech alone hosts 2.3 million of them, according to the latest available data. For many years, Spain has been the second largest source of tourists to Morocco, after France. In 2019, the last reference year before the pandemic, the French share was 28.3% and the Spanish share was 12.5%.
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