Moroccans in earthquake-ravaged areas rallied for each other as they remained stranded outside for a second day, pleading for help.
Saida Bodchich was sleeping in her home in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh when the magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit on Friday night.
Unable to escape quickly, he was trapped in a falling roof. Luckily for him, the neighbors came to his aid and pulled him out.
“My neighbors who cleaned the garbage with their hands saved me,” said Bodchich. “I’m living with them in their house now because mine is completely destroyed.”
More than 2,012 people were killed and at least 2,059 were injured in the quake, which also destroyed historic buildings in Marrakesh, Morocco’s fourth-largest city about 70km (43 miles) from the epicenter.
Residents in many affected areas were left homeless by the destruction, while many chose to sleep outside on Saturday night, fearing aftershocks or damaged roofs and collapsed walls.
Khadijah Satou, another Marrakesh resident, felt her room was “spinning” as she tried to figure out what was happening.
“I was just in bed getting ready to sleep when things started to feel a little shaky,” he told Al Jazeera.
“At first I thought, maybe there was a fire next door or construction. But shaking is not something normal. I felt the room spin. It was traumatic. I am talking about it now but the feeling is not good.
“I heard people screaming and then I realized it was an earthquake.”
Satou runs out of her apartment, without her shoes or phone. The stairs of his building shook as he left.
“At that moment, I thought there was nothing I could do [of the building]. I think the earthquake was very short but it felt like an eternity. People are crying, scared and everyone is hugging each other. “
The earthquake was recorded at a depth of 26km (16 miles), making it more damaging than deeper earthquakes of the same magnitude.
It was the deadliest earthquake in Morocco since 1960. Most of the deaths were reported in the mountainous areas in the south of the provinces of Al-Haouz and Taroudant.
The famous Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakesh, built in the 12th century, was damaged but the extent was not immediately clear. Videos posted online show damage to parts of the famous red walls that surround the old city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In the mountainous village of Tafeghaghte near the epicenter of the earthquake, buildings built from the traditional clay used by the region’s Berber inhabitants were destroyed.
In Amizmiz, approximately 55km (34 miles) south of Marrakesh and located at the foot of the High Atlas mountains, rescue workers picked up the trash with their hands.
A resident told Al Jazeera that all its residents have not only lost their homes but every family is also mourning the death of loved ones who died in the earthquake.
“We are living in a state of crisis,” another Amizmiz resident told Al Jazeera. “We are asking King Mohamed VI to intervene and send us help because we are living in a traumatic situation,” he said, adding that the villagers lack electricity, food and other necessary assistance.
Back in Marrakesh, Satou says her aunt’s house in the old town has been destroyed. One of his colleagues is still trying to contact his family living in the Atlas Mountains but has not been able to reach them.
While he’s back at work – his employers have moved the office to a lower level – he says he can’t go home.
“We slept in the garden last night because we were afraid of the aftershocks. I was traumatized. I can’t go back home. The road feel is a bit strange. I see the city is happy. I found the city sad. But this kind of sadness is unbelievable. People are on the streets because they are afraid to go to their homes.