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Flash floods in Taroudant … locals in Tizirt recall the tragedy

On Wednesday, sudden flash floods killed seven people in the Taroudant province, minutes before the start of a local football game. The inhabitants of the small village recall the tragedy that ended in a massive shock.

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Tizri, where flash floods killed seven people, Wednesday. / Ph. DR

Sudden flash floods in Taroudant, a province in southern Morocco, killed seven people who were attending a football match, Wednesday, in a small village called Tizirt. Local authorities in the province said that search operations are underway to rescue the inhabitants swept by the floods.

Videos shared on social media showed moments from the tragedy that was descried as «surprising and shocking» to the inhabitants of the village, located in the Imi Ntyaret commune. On Thursday, Yabiladi was able to reach eyewitnesses and a local who survived the deadly floods.

The account of a survivor

Said Attar, who lives in Tizirt and who was expected to take part in the match, told Yabiladi that he «survived death» minutes before the start of the football game. «We were getting ready for the football match, when suddenly the flash floods hit the field», he recalled.

While some of the attendees fled the area, the man had to return to save his father who was stuck in the seats of the football field. «My father was sitting there and I had to go back to save him», he said. After managing to save his father, Attar realized that a senior man was also stuck there. «Half the way there, I was surrounded by water, the platform collapsed and I got stuck in the middle, without being able to save the man», he recalled.

Attar was able to swim and save his life, but others couldn’t, he reported. «Nine people, including myself, managed it but others were quickly swept away by the heavy floods», he regretted. «The 70-year-old man I intended to save is still missing as well as 22 others», he said.

Unexpected floods

In Tizirt, Jamal Lotfi, who is a local activist from a neighboring commune, spoke to Yabiladi about the disaster. «The inhabitants of the village were informed minutes before the floods but they did not expect them to be that powerful», he stressed. To him, yesterday’s tragedy is «a first» that has never taken place in the province in the last 20 years.

«The football field has always been there (…) and we have never encountered similar floods», he argued. «Floods occur in Tizit but it has never reached the field, which has been hosting games for almost 20 years», he recalled.

As search operations are still carried in the small village, Abdellah Lgouich, a local journalist from Taroudantpress, told Yabiladi that the local authorities «rushed to the village shortly after the tragedy and spent the whole night trying to rescue the victims».

«They have managed to recover the bodies of some victims but search operations are underway to find others who are still missing», he added. Lgouich, who is currently in the village, said that the inhabitants will bury the victims this afternoon.

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