- Lifestyle & Sports
- 12 Sep 23
A 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit the Atlas mountains on Friday evening, devastating the surrounding region. Three unrelated Cork women recall experiencing the earthquake while on holiday in Morocco.
Three Cork women were among the lucky survivors of the earthquake, which has killed roughly 2,800 people so far. More than 300,000 residents have been affected by the disaster, which has left villages in the Atlas mountains and the surrounding area in ruins.
“It was literally only 20 seconds but it was the scariest 20 seconds ever,” shares Tracey Walker of Boherbue, Co. Cork. Walker was on holiday in Agadir with her husband, Dave, and two children Lucy, age 12, and Dylan, age 9, when the earthquake struck on Friday.
“We grabbed the kids and we pulled them in under the door,” she told PJ Coogan on The Opinionline show on Cork's 96FM. “It was movie stuff. We were terrified. Instinct in me said we need to get out. As soon as the door opened it all stopped. But it was absolutely terrifying.”
Another Irish woman, Asia Waszkiewicz from Carrigaline, was also in Morocco for a work conference with 2,000 others. She was eating outside on Friday evening when the floor began to shake.
“It was something really unexpected,” she recalls. “It was like being on a ferry in a storm and the ground underneath you is like walking on jelly.”
Waszkiewicz remembers, “All of a sudden all the lights went off and the ground started to shake. There was a big jolt and we felt scared.”
The third woman, Alison Daly, aged 23, from Glanmire, also in Cork, was on holiday with her parents in Morocco when she recalls hearing seagulls from her hotel room right as the earthquake hit.
“I never heard so many birds and then the next minute it was a blur,” she shares. “Everything started shaking and we ran over to the bathroom and hid underneath the doorway until it stopped shaking.”
She says that her family managed to grab their passports before evacuating the hotel. “We feel so lucky we got out okay.”
Yesterday, Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin announced news of €2 million in Irish Aid for Morocco. The relief funds will help support the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) and the Moroccan Red Crescent Society (MRCS), who are currently navigating the crisis response.
— Irish Aid (@Irish_Aid) September 11, 2023
Minister Martin shared, “Ireland stands in solidarity with the people of Morocco and will provide immediate emergency humanitarian assistance. Funding from Ireland will support a locally led response and provide assistance to those most impacted by this disaster.”
No Irish citizens are known to have died from the natural disaster, though President Michael D. Higgins released a letter of support to King Mohammed VI on Saturday. Shared on Twitter, the Irish President wrote, “May I offer you and the people of Morocco my deepest sympathy, as you respond to the earthquake in your country and the tragic loss of so many lives. I offer these condolences on behalf of the people of Ireland on my own behalf."
- Lifestyle & Sports
- 26 Apr 22