'My parents experienced terrifying moments’: Moroccan expats in UAE share family ordeals during the earthquake

A powerful earthquake measuring 6.8 magnitude struck Morocco on Friday


SM Ayaz Zakir

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Published: Sat 9 Sep 2023, 2:22 PM

Last updated: Sun 10 Sep 2023, 8:53 PM

As a deadly earthquake struck Morocco on Friday, most UAE residents were fast asleep. However, those with family in the disaster-struck nation woke up to calls.

Many of the Moroccan residents who spoke to Khaleej Times said that their family and friends were safe, after the powerful earthquake measuring 6.8 magnitude struck Morocco at 11.11 pm (local time) on Friday.

According to the Moroccan state media, over 800 people have been killed and 672 injured.

Dubai resident Haya said she was relieved to get a phone call from her parents in the wee hours of the morning.

“My parents called at around 2am to let me know that they were safe,” she said. “They live a little far from the epicentre near Marrakesh but they felt the quake. Everyone left their homes and gathered outside until it was safe for them to go back inside. I am relieved that my family is safe, but my heart goes out to all the victims.”

Samira El Mellouli, a Dubai resident learned about the earthquake in the morning. “As I woke up, I read the news and was worried for the victims of the quake. My parents are residing in the northern town of Meknes, which is over 400 kilometres away."

“I called them to ask about the situation there. By God’s grace, the area is safe, but they felt vibrations there,” said Samira.

Sharjah resident Asiem Elfaqir woke up for his morning prayer at 5.30am and noticed six missed calls from his friends back home. “I was really frightened looking at the missed calls. All the calls were from different numbers. When I called back, I learned about the earthquake,” said Asiem, who hails from the coastal town of El Jadida.

“My town is over 300 kilometres away from the epicentre, but the residents felt the tremors. Our hearts go out to our Moroccans back home. I request all to pray for us,” said Asiem.

The Moroccan community in the UAE is planning to get together for relief efforts for those affected by the earthquake.

“We are getting in touch with the consulate and business groups to initiate a relief effort. A lot of fellow Moroccans are trying to get information about a campaign or a drive for the affected victims,” said Mofid El Salem.

“Many places in the western region have been massively affected. I spoke to my cousin who is currently in Marrakesh. I was extremely tensed and now I am very relieved that all my family members are fine and doing well,” said Salem.

Residents in the UAE took to X (formerly Twitter) to pay their condolences.


More news from UAE