TAGNTAFET, Morocco – The worst earthquake in more than 100 years has devastated regions of Morocco and left more than 3,000 people dead.
Many remote areas are extremely difficult to reach, but Operation Blessing made the perilous journey to help those in need.
Many of the roads to villages in the mountains of Morocco have been impassable for days. The Operation Blessing team convoy had to stop at times, so heavy machinery could clear the roads, facing danger from possible rockslides at any moment.
As we drew closer to the epicenter, we witnessed increasing destruction and thousands of people living in tents on the side of the road. When we got to the village itself, we saw a bird’s eye view of the extent of the destruction.
After a five-hour drive, one flat tire, and several stops along the way for rockslides, the Operation Blessing team made it to the remote village of Tagntafet on its mission of mercy to bring hope and help.
Operation Blessing’s Diego Traverso told CBN News, “We’re one of the few, first ones, you know, to arrive here in this couple days that the earthquake happened. So, we are very happy that we made it. We made major connections here to support these villages that are unreached in this point; and we’re bringing vital supplies—food and water, solar lamps—there is no electricity here. We are here because we can show the love of Christ, first of all, as you know.”
— Operation Blessing (@operationbless) September 14, 2023
We arrived at one of the thousands of buildings that were destroyed or damaged by the earthquake. Destruction was everywhere, and this one was personal for the Operation Blessing crew because the brother of one of the O.B. volunteers died there.
The volunteer, Rachid Ait Hassaine, looked through the house where his brother had perished.
“This is the place where he died, and we are really heartbroken; and the only thing he left was his sandals,” he told us. “And we see, like in the village, the people have nothing, and everything is destroyed; and you see the people gathering and helping each other in these villages. Not just my brother died. Many other people in the village died as well.”
In all, 47 people in the village died, including a pregnant woman.
Another Operation Blessing volunteer, Yassine El Mounir, shared his heart for the work. “This is what God put in our hearts – just to go and help these people. And then, to meet with you guys and be, like, working together, it’s just a blessing for us, to have you here with us.”
Traverso told the team, “I want to thank Rachid for opening his village, his house, so we can come and help you guys. We are with him and your families in this very difficult time of sadness.”
Even in the midst of his loss, Rachid related, “I love to be part of the organization, Operation Blessing because God put it on my heart to help these people.”
This help is made possible by those supporting Operation Blessing.
El Mounir agreed with Rachid. “First, I really thank you,” he said, “and God bless you guys and we are just really happy to have you with us, so, we need you now.”