As Morocco Tries to Rebuild After Quake, Tradition Is Top of Many Minds

10:31 PM Aida Alami 0 Comments


Boujemaa Kouti still remembers the screams of his neighbors trapped under the rubble of their houses, calling for help that horrific night 63 years ago.

He was just 8 and asleep when a large earthquake struck Morocco in 1960, wiping out entire neighborhoods in the coastal city of Agadir, near the Atlas Mountains, and killing at least 12,000 people.

“I saw stars when I woke up,” Mr. Kouti said, and then he heard “people screaming ‘Save me’ — calling for their family.”

Mr. Kouti’s older brother died, and the Kouti family lived in tents for almost a year as Agadir was mostly rebuilt at a location nearby deemed safer.

Rubble was bulldozed and cleared, and vast amounts of concrete were poured as buildings with stricter seismic standards went up.

The Agadir Oufella, a 16th-century fortress partly damaged in the quake, was eventually restored, and a memorial was erected on top of a hill where many died.

Now, Moroccans are confronting a new challenge in the nearby Atlas Mountains: how to rebuild the once picturesque villages and towns destroyed in the powerful earthquake that devastated the region on Sept. 8, killing about 3,000 people.


read the rest of the story on the New York Times' website

You Might Also Like