(KRON) — Entire villages were wiped out during the massive earthquake that shook Morocco nearly two weeks ago. A native Moroccan woman with ties to the Bay Area happened to be visiting family in the North African country when the quake hit.
The woman is now raising money to help people who have lost everything rebuild their lives. Stressed roads lined with heavy emergency equipment lead to remote villages in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.
An area devastated during the North African country’s biggest earthquake in 120 years.
Moroccan native Zayna Aouni documented the damage through a lens during her trip back home.
“There is, like, over 200 villages that all got destroyed and some are completely got vanished,” Aouni said.
Auoni lives in France now after relocating from the Bay Area years ago. She often visits her parents who live in Marrakesh and was asleep in their home when the 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck.
“I just feel really sad for people that lost their homes — their families. Thank god I didn’t lose anyone from my family,” Aouni said.
She has the ability to fly back to France but has chosen to stay back and help with the humanitarian effort — spending a few minutes to speak with KRON4 from overseas while raising funds online to help displaced families recover.
“I felt like I just want to be there to support these kids at least emotionally at the beginning, and then later we try to make their life better,” Aouni said.
Auoni launched the fundraiser the day after the shaker hit on Sept. 8 and has raised about $7,000 since. She is mortified by the destruction in the remote areas.
“My friends, they smelled everything when they reached there. They said the smell is overwhelming of people that are still under the remains, and it’s hard also for the kids that are there — to smell the bodies — to go through this, especially at a very young age,” Aouni said.
The death toll has exceeded 2,800 people with thousands more injured.