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Moroccan children traumatized by earthquake

Moroccan children traumatized by earthquake   -  
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“My dad would call me and I would shout ‘I’m here, I’m here’”. Little Ibtissam was miraculously saved from the rubble of her house, but she is traumatized by the earthquake which razed the entirety of her village in Morocco.

Five days after the most powerful earthquake to ever hit Morocco, his family settled in a small tent, alongside around ten families, below their village of Imi N'Tala, 75 km south of Marrakech.

For Ibtissam Aït Iddar, 9 years old, the shock of the shock was compounded by the pain of having lost two friends.

“With Mouna and Zineb, we went to school together even if we were not in the same class,” she says modestly.

“I’m afraid for her,” whispers her mother Naïma Benhamou who lost her youngest daughter, aged 4, her mother and her mother-in-law in the earthquake.

Ibtissam was pulled out of the rubble at the last minute by her father and uncle after the collapse of their house, swallowed up by voluminous mounting stones.

But for now what worries Naïma is the psychological state of her daughter who often wakes up at night in tears shouting "get me out, I've fallen".


Imi N'Tala is nestled at an altitude of more than 1,400 meters in the Toubkal massif. The village buildings are built along the length of a narrow and winding road surveying the High Atlas mountain range.

According to the survivors of this village of 400 souls, more than 84 people, including 20 children, perished during the powerful earthquake which transformed the village into a field of ruins permeated by the pestilential odor of death.

Rescuers managed to extract one body on Wednesday and continued to search for five others.

Not far from them, Youssef Aït Raiss, 11, remembers in the family tent how “the house fell”.

“We were stuck under the debris,” says the boy whose parents were elsewhere during the earthquake.

His brother Zakaria, 13, who joins him adds: “we were with our grandmother, it was like a nightmare”.

The two boys lost their grandmother and their 16-year-old brother is still in the emergency room at Marrakech University Hospital.

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