Plane full of ‘lucky’ passengers returns from Marrakech

Passengers arriving from Morocco
Photo credit: Studio040/Omroep Brabant

With fear still in minds and heart, passengers arrived at Eindhoven Airport. After they flew from Marrakesh, Morocco, they landed around midnight. All occupants had witnessed the severe earthquake on Friday evening. 

In the arrivals hall, travellers met the family members and friends. Abedella from Eindhoven is one of the first passengers to get off the plane. “It was intense. It is mainly the poorest neighbourhoods that are affected. “We were just on our way to a large supermarket in Marrakesh by car. We saw a horse exhibiting strange behavior. Then, we realized it was an earthquake.”

The Eindhoven resident is religious. “I thought: this is a warning from God. Everyone was running. Everyone was on the street and many people slept outside. I couldn’t sleep or sit in my car. I’m glad I’m home.”


A little further on, Marco and daughter Lotte are embraced by a family member. Marco and Lotte were on holiday and in a hotel. “We went to bed around eleven o’clock. We took off our lenses and glasses. Then suddenly everything started to rattle. We immediately went outside. There were people screaming and looking for a safe place,” says Lotte.


According to Marco it was a big chaos. “Our hotel was full of cracks. We went to lay in the lobby, which was still a safe place. There was no sleep because I was afraid of aftershocks. You go outside, just like everyone else. You look for each other and seek support. I especially feel sorry for the poor people and families from the Medina. They already have so little and then this also happens.”


Mieke sighs deeply now that she has returned safely from Morocco. At least 2,000 people have already died because of the disaster. “I’m glad that we are finally almost home. We have had significant delays,” says the resident of As in Belgian Limburg. “The earthquake took us by surprise. We had dinner in an open-air restaurant. There was a show going on. One of the performers announced through a microphone that ‘the magic was about to begin’. Then the floor started shaking. We thought it was part of the show. Suddenly, the locals started running away from the restaurant. Then we realised that it was a powerful earthquake and they ran outside.


Mieke’s hotel was still relatively intact. “There were some cracks in the walls, but we could sleep in our room. Half the hotel was sleeping outside. The pool and the terrace were full. I thought it was a horrible sight. The restaurant was a great devastation. Everything made of glass was broken. The staff scooped the glass off the floor.”


“Luckily, we’re still here,” Nadine says with relief. “There was not much damage where we stayed. We were seventy kilometers from the epicenter. In the mountain villages it was chaos. A guide said that there were many victims. There entire families had been torn away. In our hotel it was a major disaster, devastation. We slept outside by the pool. It was really scary. It goes so fast. You almost don’t realise it.”

Source: Studio040
Translation: Shanthi Ramani

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