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World News

'We prayed for our lives' says Premier presenter caught up the Morocco earthquake

by Donna Birrell

Search and rescue teams in Morocco are continuing to look for survivors of Friday's earthquake which has left more than two thousand people dead. Thousands of others have been injured.

Premier’s Worship At Home presenter Simon Ward is on holiday in Marrakesh and was asleep in his hotel when the earthquake struck. He’s been speaking to Premier about the experience :

“It was about a quarter past eleven on Friday night. The whole building just started shaking and the scariest thing about it is you don't know how long it's going to go on for, or what the end result is going to be, because it really was fierce.

“It really does literally shake you to the core in more senses than once. We were praying in our room, not just for our own safety, obviously, but for the city itself. And particularly up in the hills where there’s been a tragic, tragic loss of life.

“It lasted about a minute and everyone was out on the streets. We were there for four hours, because there were fears of an aftershock. There were a couple of rumbles but that was all. It was a  very, very scary experience. We did fear for our lives for that short period of time. It makes you realise the fragility of life.”

Simon, who is staying in the new part of the city, says there are cracks in the hotel walls and the main front doors were shattered by the quake. But he says people are trying to carry on as normally as possible :

“It’s a funny thing. Everybody imagines that the whole of Marrakesh has been flapping, but it’s not like that, life is really carrying on as normal. There's obviously areas in the Old City and up in the hills, it's a complete tragedy. But I've got to shout out the resilience of the Moroccan people as they've set about their everyday life. There are people already plastering the holes in the walls. Our hotel staff all turned up for breakfast first thing, trying to make everything happen as normal.

“To be honest, we're delighted to be able to stay out here and play our part by being the tourists we came to be, giving them huge thanks for all that they're doing, and just praying for them that they'll be able to rebuild their city and their economy. We’re also of course praying for those who sadly have lost lives, lost loved ones.”

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