A seismic swarm of hundreds of tremors during the night was recorded by the National Institute of Geophysics (Ing) of Morocco after the tremor of magnitude 7 on the Richter scale which hit the area southwest of Marrakech. The toll is 632 dead and 329 injured. According to Nasser Jebbour, head of the ING division, the affected area has a perimeter of at least 400 kilometres, in the province of Al Hazoud, where the Berber villages are located, at the foot of the Atlas.
And it is here that the damage begins to be counted starting in the early hours of dawn, now that the rescuers have managed to reach even the most inaccessible areas of the mountain range, near the top of Toubkal. After the shock of the violence of the earthquake, the strongest recorded so far after that of 2004 with a magnitude of 6.3 in Al Hoceima (north-east of Rabat) and that of the 1960s which destroyed Agadir with a magnitude of 5.7 (causing 12,000 deaths) , Marrakech lifts the veil on the fragile city walls, crumbled in several places, on the medina with the sand houses, on the rescue system that struggles to reach the narrowest alleys.
It is only after the muezzin’s song, at 5 in the morning, that the sound of the sirens, the background sound of the whole night, fades away. And it is from 6am that planes start flying again in the Marrakech sky with the reopening of the airport. Ighil, the village at the epicentre, has six thousand inhabitants; the more than 3 million people in Marrakech seemed to be many more, outside their homes, where they spent the night.