Today • Islamic Date -

Next Prayer: London -

Recent Donations -

Muslim Aid Media Centre

Grief and anxiety as Agadir’s earthquake history haunts its people amid the Marrakesh tragedy

By Diana Alghoul – witness in Agadir

Earlier this month, an earthquake struck the Moroccan city of Marrakesh, killing more than than 2,800 people were killed by the earthquake and 300,000 more have been affected. While this was the worst earthquake Morocco has seen in a century, this w earthquake isn’t new.

On February 29, 1960, Morocco experienced one of the deadliest earthquakes in its history – the Agadir Earthquake. This seismic catastrophe, which struck the coastal city of Agadir, left an indelible mark on the nation and showcased both the resilience of its people and the government's response in the face of adversity.

The Agadir Earthquake, also known as the Great Agadir Earthquake, measured a devastating 5.7 on the Richter scale. Its epiccenter was located just off the coast of Agadir, a popular tourist destination known for its picturesque beaches. The earthquake's destructive force, however, rendered the city almost unrecognisable.

For those in Agadir, it wasn’t just the shock of their fellow brothers and sisters in Marrakesh experiencing what they had, the fear of a second earthquake hitting Agadir was all too real.

During my stay in Agadir in the earthquake, locals were not only navigating between rushing to check on their loved ones in Marrakesh, but they were scrambling to find safety out of fear of a strong aftershock, or a second earthquake hitting their beloved city.

After the earthquake hit Agadir in 1960, then-King Mohammed V instructed anti-quake infrastructure in Agadir. Modern builds in the city are not more than three stories high and they are made of flexible-earthquake proof material. Hotels and public spaces are double-pillared to give buildings extra support.

Not everyone is lucky enough to live in such safe buildings. In older parts of the city, some buildings can be as tall as five stories and the people who live in those areas faced not only the added fear of an earthquake hitting them, but not having the means to survive if it took place.

Because of this, the people of Agadir slept in their cars for days after the Marrakesh earthquake, relying only on modest belongings and prayer to keep them alive and safe. Rumours were rife and anxiety was high.

Everyone, regardless of their class, was afraid of another earthquake, but this tragedy showed, yet again how when natural disasters strike, it’s always the poor that are put at an even greater disadvantage.

We are a faith-based British international charity that provides help to people who are victims of natural disasters or conflict or suffering from poverty, hunger, disease, homelessness, injustice, deprivation or lack of skills and economic opportunities.

020 7377 4200

Ways to Donate

Donate


  • Living Wage
  • Zakat Policy
  • Registered with

    Fundraising Regulator

Please support us further

Your donation will provide help to people who are victims of natural disasters or conflict or suffering from poverty, hunger, disease, homelessness, injustice, deprivation or lack of skills and economic opportunities.