Dad killed by rubble that hit his head as he tried to protect son in Morocco quake

In the Moroccan village of Amizmiz, death has come in the most cruel way.

An earthquake that struck with sudden violence, a wave of destruction and then, for some, an agonising wait for help.

We stop by a petrol station, where there is now a huge pile of rubble. Once this was a coffee shop, but you wouldn’t know it.

Amizmiz, Morocco
The quake-hit village of Amizmiz in Morocco

Behind is a space. Two days ago, there were two houses here. Now, there is almost nothing. Almost, but not quite.

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What you see are thick lines of concrete, piled upon each other. These are floors, which have simply collapsed and now sit, like pancakes in a pile.

A woman here is sobbing, quietly. We talk to her, as gently as we can, and she wants to tell us what happened. Her name is Hafida and her brother, Miloud, lived in one of the houses.

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He was the local police chief, and he lived here with his wife and their two children. The youngest child, a daughter, survived and is now in hospital in Marrakesh with a broken leg.

Amizmiz, Morocco

His wife and their son are still missing. Miloud’s body had been recovered already. He was killed by rubble that hit his head as he lay over his son, trying to shelter him.

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Amizmiz, Morocco
Amizmiz, Morocco

The reality, she knows, is that neither mother nor son will be found alive.

She tells us that initially you could hear his cries for help, but now they have gone quiet. She bursts into tears again.

It is an appalling tale, and it is being repeated across this region.

As we talk, a massive digger arrives to help lift the rubble. It is parked, then turned off. Nobody knows quite how to react except with profound, searing grief.

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