GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Grand Rapids woman vacationing in Morocco survived the earthquake that devastated the country.
Tamika Gambrell arrived just days before the 6.8-magnitude quake. Its epicenter was about 44 miles south of Marrakech, where she was staying. She was in her vacation rental building when it happened Friday.
“We just started to feel this trembling. Initially, we didn’t really feel it as rough. We just kind of felt it and it just really did not stop. That’s when we began to hear screams. We ourselves became extremely afraid,” Gambrell said. “I thought that the room was going to go down, so we were just trying to move as quickly as we could.”
Not sure exactly what to do, they went out into the streets with the locals, trying to stay away from buildings.
“A lot of people had just run out, not really having time to dress, barefoot, things of that nature. We heard some people running out of restaurants screaming, running out of the neighboring businesses,” Gambrell said.
Damage, especially to the older buildings, quickly became apparent.
“We could see some of the bottoms of the patios from the upper levels had fell down onto the ground. We didn’t realize that in our unit specially there was damage until the next morning because of course this was at night,” Gambrell said.
Tamika said considering the severity of the damage in the area, they felt fortunate their building held together.
“We saw that there was a major crack in one of the pillars, so that wasn’t good, and also we noticed that in another one of the pillars there was a bunch of just rubble and crumbles from the bottom. Thankfully, everything was stable,” Gambrell said.
She was impressed by the people of Morocco and their strength but said they will need help rebuilding their lives as they thousands of deaths across the country.
“This is the time where the community needs the support. So whether it’s supplies, donations, even an opportunity just to bring about some light on the impact of this, I think all of it is very important,” Gambrell said.
If you want to help the relief efforts, you can donate to the American Red Cross.