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Earthquake in Morocco. What do victims need?

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3 minutes

Rescuers searching for earthquake victims in Morocco have less and less chance of reaching people alive. For fear of further shocks, many injured people seek treatment outside hospital buildings. The number of people affected by the disaster is estimated at 300,000 – support will be necessary to help them regain their lives every day after the tragic experience.

Hospitals are immediately filling up free beds, and injured people are arriving from remote towns, mountain villages and places that have turned to rubble and dust. Some facilities provide assistance only outside due to the possibility of building collapse as a result of aftershocks. Roads to some cities are still buried, so the final scale of destruction is yet to be known.

Learning from the experience of the earthquakes in Syria and Turkey, we know that hospitals will now need additional aid and dressing materials used to treat fractures and injuries. The next stage will include the purchase of prostheses and rehabilitation equipment. Psychological support will also be crucial, because for hundreds of thousands of people it will be an experience that will radically change their lives, says Jakub Belina-Brzozowski from the Polish Medical Mission.

On Wednesday morning, the official number of victims was 2,901, with another 5,530 injured. These numbers may increase as more people trapped under the rubble are reached. Traditional buildings made of dried bricks and stones were not prepared for an impact with a magnitude of 6.8 on the Richter scale. The earthquake in Morocco is in some ways similar to the second major quake that people in Turkey and Syria have faced this year. Both took place at night, when most residents were at home. Many people will not be able to return to buildings at risk of collapse, and residents who have lost all their belongings now need, above all, water and food, access to sanitary facilities and a safe place to spend the nights.

We must bear in mind that aid after a natural disaster is not only about the first 24 hours to save lives, but also long months spent with the injured, rehabilitation, recovery, rebuilding houses, schools and hospitals. Suffice it to mention that in the hospital in Shamarin, Syria, people injured in the February earthquake are still being treated. The assistance is provided in cooperation with local organizations, which is also how the Polish Medical Mission in Morocco will operate, adds Jakub Belina-Brzozowski.

Currently, the most complete images showing the scale of destruction come from satellite photos, especially in the mountainous area, where help is still needed. The scale of damage and the number of people affected by the quake will not be fully known until many weeks after the first tremor. But help for those who lost their health, loved ones and belongings is needed for much longer.

Polish Medical Mission together with Pomagamy.pl decided to launch a collection from which the funds will support the victims of the earthquake in Morocco. You can support it at https://pomagam.pl/maroko

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