The General Directorate of Meteorology has issued a new orange alert in three provinces

Un temporal de nieve en Marruecos deja 87 pueblos aislados y 24.000 asistidos

PHOTO/AFP - People walk through a snow-covered street in Ouarzazate, on February 18, 2023

The southeast of Morocco has been experiencing an unprecedented snowstorm since this weekend that has left 24,000 families in need of assistance and 87 isolated villages in the region of Ouarzazate and Zagora, which the authorities hope to access by Monday after having already unblocked most of them. The Mohamed V Foundation for Solidarity has in recent days provided humanitarian assistance (food and blankets) to 9,000 families affected by the storm in the region of Ouarzazate, where snowfall reached 2.2 metres, 10,000 families in Taroudant and 5,000 in Zagora. 

"The authorities' interventions in this area are progressing at a good pace despite the bad weather conditions," Sanae Berdikh, the Foundation's communications director, told EFE on Monday. Berdikh explained that during the intervention of the Moroccan troops they managed to evacuate by helicopter on Sunday morning a woman about to give birth who was trapped in a village in the area where the road was cut off. Both are in good condition in the provincial hospital. "An airlift has been set up between the airports of Casablanca, Ouarzazate, Zagora and Agadir with 20 rotations this weekend to bring humanitarian aid teams to the people affected," she said. 

During the intervention, the authorities also helped nomadic families in the area who are particularly isolated and are being assisted by air. In addition, volunteer doctors from Rabat and other localities in specialities such as gynaecology, paediatrics and radiology will travel to these areas, and medicines will be distributed to the population in need. And in Taroudant, 259 villages affected by the cold snap, located at an altitude of more than 1,900 metres, have been affected.

Temporal nieve Marruecos

Berdikh stressed that the authorities will be able to clear all of the 75 villages trapped by the storm this Monday, for which 88 snow ploughs are being used. She stressed the "effective work" of the Ministry of Interior, local authorities, the Royal Gendarmerie and the Royal Armed Forces on the ground and in the air to facilitate access to the people and villages affected by the storm.  

King Mohammed VI gave instructions this weekend to speed up aid to the villages affected by the storm in the three provinces. One of the worst affected is Ouarzazate, where the snow has reached unprecedented heights, with road closures and the suspension of classes. The General Directorate of Meteorology issued a new orange alert for snowfall this Monday of between 10 and 20 centimetres in the highest areas of the provinces of Haouz, Taroudant, Ouarzazate and Tinghir, known tourist destinations for their landscape, gorges, valleys and kasbahs.