Families in Moroccan village seek shade as they prepare for a week without their homes

Mina Bakenziz, center, and Belekhal Mimouna, right.
Mina Bakenziz, center, and Belekhal Mimouna, right. Ivana Kottasová/CNN

Belekhal Mimouna was praying in her room when Morocco's devastating earthquake hit on Friday night. The floor was swaying violently, and she could barely stay on her feet.

“The ground was moving. It was shaking back and forth, things were falling, and I hurt my leg,” she said. She received medical treatment last night, almost a full day after the quake, but said she still has pain.

Mimouna works at a hotel in Moulay Brahim, a village in a rural area of the Atlas Mountains that’s a popular tourist destination. Local officials say 25 people have been killed in the village of about 5,000. Several more are still missing, and are believed to be buried in the rubble.

Seeking shelter: Most people from the village have been staying outside in the open, desperately trying to find a place away from the intense afternoon sun.

An entire large family with almost a dozen little children is staying in a makeshift camp on the village football field.

They have been there since the earthquake hit and are preparing to stay for several more days. The authorities told them it will likely be a week before they’ll be able to go home. They have enough food and water for now, but there is little shade to get relief from the heat. The children have been told they will not be able to go to school tomorrow.

A family is camping on a football field following the earthquake.
A family is camping on a football field following the earthquake. Ivana Kottasová/CNN

The local government is organizing humanitarian aid, dispatching food and water to the hardest-hit communities. But official help is few and far between. The firefighters who are spearheading the rescue efforts are focusing on finding survivors and some buildings and streets are still too dangerous to enter.

Mina Bakenziz lives in the village now, although she is originally from Casablanca. She stays here on what she calls “a full-time holiday.” She said she was asleep in her bed when the quake hit.

“I was very lucky,” she said. The building she was in was almost entirely destroyed, but the room where she was sleeping remained largely intact. “The people came and pulled me out. Nothing fell on me, I was so lucky," she said

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