Birmingham mother’s fear for survival

A mother who was on holiday in Morocco with her family when an earthquake struck said she did not know if they would survive.

Shabina Bano, councilor for Small Heath, Birmingham, was leaving a souk in Marrakesh when Friday’s earthquake struck.

He thought the earth was moving and then saw destruction and damage to buildings including a mosque.

“You just don’t know if you’re going to survive this. That’s the sense of fear in you,” he said.

The earthquake killed more than 2,000 people, injured thousands more and survivors were consumed using their bare hands to dig for the remains.

Ms Bano had gone with her partner, their children and her brother to town to shop on Friday.

They were about to leave when he said he “felt dizzy” as they headed to the open-air market.

“Before you can even think, the ground beneath you shakes and you just can’t understand what’s going on,” he said.

“You just hear screams, screams, screams and people just pushing and that’s when it hits you that something is happening.”

A woman investigates the damage to a house in Marrakesh, which is almost completely destroyed

A woman inspects the damage to a house in Marrakesh, after a strong earthquake struck on Friday night

The family gathered as they saw dust and smoke in the air and decided to go and repair their car.

On the way he said they saw destruction, damage to restaurants, fallen walls and cracks in the walls.

The family saw a stream of cars leaving the city and Ms Bano said they spent six hours driving to Essaouira where they live, a journey which would usually take much longer.

People slept outside for the next two nights because of fears of being indoors in case of more tremors, he said.

The family stayed inside on Sunday but kept waking up as they feared it would happen again.

“Those flashbacks keep coming back to you and it’s a scary feeling,” he said.

Destruction in Marrakesh

The family saw damage and destruction in Marrakesh as they got into their car

The group has since gone home but Ms Bano said she felt for the Moroccan population as “the destruction, the history that has been destroyed here is very sad”.

Meanwhile, seven members of staff from the West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) are among about 60 with the UK’s international search and rescue team who have been deployed in Morocco.

The team is supporting the rescue efforts and WMFS fire chief, Wayne Brown, said the service would give them “every possible support during this deployment”.

Shreen Mahmood

Shreen Mahmood went to Marrakesh to help with relief efforts

Shreen Mahmood, from Birmingham, traveled to Marrakesh to help coordinate aid efforts with the charity International Learning Movement UK and said the group “hit the ground running”.

“We have to do the best we can, especially when disaster strikes. There are innocent families who lost a lot, so we don’t have time to think about anything else,” he said.

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