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Bay Area community rushes to send aid to Morocco after deadly 6.8 quake

Rescuers are still searching through the rubble Monday looking for survivors in Morocco, after the deadly 6.8 earthquake struck Friday night.

The death toll has now passed 2,800people with more than 2,500 injured according to Moroccan authorities.

Groups connected to Bay Area Moroccan communities are rushing to send aid.

Prayer time at the Evergreen Islamic Center is always solemn but maybe a little more Monday. Not only is it 9/11, a day of tragedy for the community, but now the mosque is trying to help the Moroccan earthquake victims.

Members of the Evergreen Islamic Center say they’re trying to stay hopeful about the Morocco earthquake situation even as they pray for the many who have died.

One man, a former member who now lives in Chicago, escaped with his wife just hours after the earthquake and talked to NBC Bay Area by FaceTime.

Arif Khan was visiting Morocco with his wife and son’s family and they all had fun on a camel caravan during the day Friday. But that all changed when the 6.8 quake hit that night. 

“It was shaking, I mean, the windows were shaking. The door was rattling, and we couldn’t figure it out,” he said.

Khan said all he saw was debris everywhere.

Fortunately, he and his wife were already flying out early Saturday morning and got out. 

His son’s family was not as lucky. Part of their hotel collapsed and their flight was grounded.

“The place they were staying, one part of it was totally rubbled, and they were lucky to survive,” said Khan. “They were not able to fly out. In fact, they were supposed to fly on Sunday morning to Casablanca, they could not because the flights were canceled.”

The son sent a picture of the family spending the nights outside the hotel. But Khan said he believes they did catch a flight out Monday.     

The Evergreen Islamic Center quickly set up a way for people to donate on its website.

“There is a big presence in the Bay Area, people from Morocco. Not just of the Islamic faith but also other faiths. So the thing to realize is that just like any natural disaster.. people there are suffering, because of lack of infrastructure, lack of communication, breakdown, whatever the way they might be,” said Faisal Yazadi, president of the Evergreen Islamic Center.

The Evergreen Islamic Center is asking for cash donations if possible because it can send out money faster than supplies.

Food and clothing drives are being planned for later this month.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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