Rescue efforts to help those caught near the epicenter of Friday's powerful earthquake were ongoing Sunday, with members of the army, police and civil defense arriving overnight.
Many of the villages in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains close to the epicenter of the quake are isolated and difficult to access, hampering operations.
The scale of the quake's impact is still becoming clear, but eyewitnesses CNN spoke to on Saturday gave a sense of the destruction.
Fatima, 50, told CNN her house in the town of Asni in the foothills of the High Atlas mountain range was destroyed in the earthquake.
“I barely got the chance to grab the kids and run out before I saw my house collapsing in front of my eyes. The neighbor’s house has also collapsed and there are two dead people under the rubble,” she said.
Mustapha Louaanabi, who also lives in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, described the moment the earthquake struck, saying there were “loud, deafening noises” and it felt as if “a train was passing right in the middle of the living room”.
His family fled outside, where they stayed for the rest of the night as aftershocks continued until 8 a.m. local time (3 a.m. ET). “Nobody slept all night because of the aftershocks and the noise of these shocks created panic,” he said.
Louaanabi’s house survived the quake, but a town nearby has been razed to the ground and locals are unable to retrieve bodies from under the rubble, he said.
Mohamed, from Asni village in Alhouz, at the foothills of Morocco’s High Atlas mountains, told CNN that almost all of the houses in his area had been damaged by the earthquake.
While he and his family managed to get out during the night, others were not so lucky. Mohamed told CNN his neighbor “lost” his two children — a boy and a girl.
Rescue efforts have been redirected to other nearby areas where the damage is much worse than his village, he added.