| 20 July 2024, Saturday |

Wedding party saved Moroccan villagers from deadly earthquake

During Friday’s catastrophic earthquake, which devastated their stone and mud-brick buildings while they were enjoying traditional music in an open courtyard, a wedding celebration rescued all of the inhabitants of a Moroccan town.

The wedding of Habiba Ajdir, 22, and apple farmer Mohammed Boudad, 30, was scheduled for Saturday in his hamlet of Kettou, but the bride’s family hosted a celebration the night before.

A guest’s camera captured the moment the 6.8-magnitude earthquake occurred, with footage of musicians dressed in traditional attire performing on flutes and portable goatskin drums, giving way to mayhem, darkness, and screaming.

Standing beside his wife on Tuesday, and still wearing their wedding clothes nearly four days after the quake buried their possessions in rubble, Boudad said the tremor had overwhelmed him with fear for her as he waited in his own village.

“We wanted to celebrate. Then the quake hit. I didn’t know whether to worry about her village or mine,” he said.

As he spoke, Boudad held his wife’s hand. He smiled shyly when asked how they had met, saying only that they were “brought together by fate.” Ajdir was so traumatized by the earthquake she did not want to speak to strangers, he said.

Her impoverished village of Ighil Ntalghoumt was left in ruins, and many of its people are now homeless, but unlike in other parts of the Adassil region, close to the tremor’s epicenter, there were no deaths or serious injuries, residents said.

The earthquake was Morocco’s deadliest since 1960, killing more than 2,900 people, mostly in remote settlements in the High Atlas mountain range south of Marrakech.

  • alarabiya