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Earthquake in Morocco: A Swiss couple treats the injured

Earthquake in Morocco: A Swiss couple treats the injured

On site in Marrakesh

“We treat the wounded” – A Swiss couple treats earthquake victims

A planned road trip turned into a rescue operation: Jessica Matzig and Konrad Ilge wanted to travel to Morocco, and now they are treating earthquake victims in the Atlas Mountains.


“We couldn’t pretend nothing had happened. The fact that the other tourists continued their vacation as usual made us angry,” says Jessica Matzig. She and a friend collected water, food and bandages to care for the injured in Marrakesh.

20 minutes/scout news

  • After the devastating earthquake that struck Morocco on Saturday, more than 2,400 deaths were reported.

  • Swiss women Jessica Matzig and Konrad Ilge, who were on a road trip, were also exposed to the earthquake.

  • The couple remains near Marrakesh to care for the wounded there.

“We are currently on our way to the Moroccan Red Crescent in Marrakesh, which is a member of the Red Cross,” says Jessica Matzig when 20 Minuten spoke to her on Monday afternoon. She and boyfriend Konrad Ilge are on a road trip through Morocco — the Swiss couple took a trip on Friday evening Camp in Marrakesh with earthquake up close.

Since Saturday the two have been trying To help local people. They also offered their assistance to the Moroccan Red Crescent on Saturday.

Fractures, open wounds and head injuries

On the Saturday morning after the quake, Matzig and Ilge set out to get water, food, hygiene products and bandages themselves. The young Swiss woman said: “We could not pretend that nothing had happened. The fact that the other tourists continued their vacation as usual made us angry.” She herself had already packed a large box with iodine, bandages and medicines from Switzerland for her own trip. Then they drove towards the epicenter in a packed car.

“On the way we had to swallow the food empty several times,” says Matzig. “There was rubble everywhere, and we didn’t know if there was going to be another aftershock – it was so scary.” When they reached the village of Ouirgane in the Atlas Mountains, about 30 kilometers from the epicenter, they became fully aware of the magnitude of the quake: “People had fractures, open wounds, severe head injuries and were completely in shock,” he says. Matzeg. “We saw that they desperately need help – and they need it now.”

Jessica Matzig and Konrad Ilg document the devastating effects of the earthquake.

20 minutes/Scouting News

The couple fear more deaths in the mountains

Many residents told them they had lost loved ones. “In this mountain village there was no other help on site, no doctors, no psychologists, no one else,” Matzig says in astonishment. There was only the army at the site, but he only waited for instructions and brought the dogs to the area for a subsequent inspection.

The Swiss woman said: “Warkan is the first village we came to, and we were not allowed to go any further based on the army’s instructions.” “But we are sure that there are many dead and wounded in the villages high in the mountains.”

“There are no words for such a tragedy.”

“Of course we’re not medical experts, but that’s enough for a few bandages and a band-aid,” says Matzig. “People are very grateful that someone takes care of them.”

It affected the fate of the people with whom the couple met very deeply. They are happy in each other’s presence – so they can give each other strength. “When people tell me they’ve lost their children or their parents, I can’t hold back my tears,” Matzig admits. She hugged many people, but she didn’t know what to say to them. “There are no words for such a tragedy.”

Help from other countries comes too late for the people who have been under the rubble since Saturday. “This is very sad,” Ilg agreed.

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