Morocco earthquake: The teacher who lost all 32 of her pupils

Monday, 18 September 2023 - 22:50

"I imagined myself checking who was present in the class and going in order, from name to name, until I crossed out all 32 students. They are all dead now."

Nesrin Abu ElFadel, an Arabic and French teacher from Marrakech, recalls the day she rushed to the village of Adasil in Morocco's Atlas Mountains, trying to find her students under the rubble left by the 6,8-magnitude earthquake.

On Friday evening, she spent the night on the street with her mother after the earthquake, and that's when she heard how devastating it was for the population of the mountain villages.

She immediately thought of the central school in Adasil where she works and of the students, whom she calls "her children".

"I went to the village and asked about my children: where is Somaja? Where is Yusef? Where is this little girl? Where is this boy?

"I got the answer within a few hours: 'They are all dead'."

On September 8, Morocco was hit by the strongest earthquake in the history of the country, and it was also the deadliest earthquake in the previous 60 years - about 3.000 people died, and thousands are still being searched for.

The most affected were the places south of Marrakesh, where many mountain villages were completely destroyed.

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