Moroccans and floods, history of recurrent traumas


This week, the flood of a Wadi submerged a football field, and made at least seven deaths, Wednesday, August 28, in the village of Tizirt, located in the town Imi N'Tayart (Ighrem District, Taroudant province) ). While the search for survivors continues since Wednesday night, the douar yesterday buried its victims.

This Friday again, the Directorate of National Meteorology (DMN) announced in a special weather report that the province of Taroudant, like that of Al Haouz, Tata, Ouarzazate, Chichaoua, Azilal, Midelt, Tinghir, Zagora, Errachidia , Figuig, Boulmane, Smara, Boujdour, Laayoune (interior), Oued eddahab, Aousserd and the reliefs under Tiznit, Shtouka a baha, Sidi Ifni and Guelmim are affected by locally strong thunderstorms, orange level.

The drama Tizirt, widely publicized and whose photos and videos of unbearable moments lived by these Moroccans, recalls other deadly floods that occurred in Morocco well before independence.

Oceans of mud over the years

One of the sadly memorable floods that the history of Morocco holds back is that of September 25, 1950. This year "Oued Agay burst at full speed" on Sefrou, recalls our colleagues from Zamane in an article published last May: "The blade reaches six meters in height and kills more than a hundred people."

A document of the Directorate of Surveillance and Risk Prevention of the Secretariat of State in charge of Water evokes 100 dead. The drama is also mentioned in a publication of the Sefrou Cultural Symposium, held in May 2012, which highlights the shock of the population, the displacement of Sultan Mohammed Ben Youssef on the spot as well as the momentum of solidarity in Morocco still under protectorate.

"We lived in a house on the edge of the wadi, at the level (but upstream) of the entrance bridge at Sefrou coming from Fez, near the stairs of the devil (Drijat Iblis): the water rose to the 1st floor of our house ", relates a testimony published online.

A house destroyed by the Ourika wadi in 1995. / Ph. DRA house destroyed by the Ourika wadi in 1995. / Ph. DR

Six years later, either 1956, it is the Oued Tensift which provokes "several losses in human life", whose number has not been defined, in the district Sidi Youssef Ben Ali of Marrakech due to the floods, reports a document of the Agency of the basin Hydraulic Tensift.

The May 23, 1963it is around the river Moulouya to stir, taking everything on its way from the junction of the massif of the Middle and High Atlas to the Mediterranean. If the number of victims is not known, the flood has caused the "destruction of the base of the left bank of the dam Mohammed V", as reported in the Directorate of Surveillance and Risk Prevention.

The November 5, 1965The Ziz valley is devastated by floods, notably the Oued Ziz, with a "peak flow of 7200 m3 per second and a volume of 570 million m3", which will leave 25,000 people homeless. It is also unknown how many deaths or losses caused by this tragedy.

History will also remember several cases of floods that affected Morocco in the 1970s and 1980s but poorly documented. Then, in the years, from January 1990several dramas succeed one another. The floods of the angry Oued Tensift, which rises in the High Atlas and flows into the Atlantic Ocean, between Safi and Essaouira, flood this month, 530 hectares of farmland, causing the death of four people and twenty wounded.

Illustration image. / DRIllustration image. / DR

From Oued Ourika to the village of Tizirt in Taroudant

Five years later, one of the most deadly natural disasters will occur. Before the floods of Wadi Ourika, near Marrakech, several events take place the same year, such as the flood of 1995 of Wadi Zat (one of the tributaries of Oued Tensift) near Ait Ourir. It will cause "11 deaths killed by contributions of debris from Tâghadouine Chaâbat", "22 destroyed houses", "2,982 dead cattle and 3,700 hectares of flooded agricultural land", it is said.

The August 17, 1995, the tragedy occurs in the valley of the Ourika when the flood of the wadi bearing the same name, also a tributary of Tensift, carries 730 people. "Sitti Fadma, last village at the foot of the mountain, to Souk Tnine Ourika, as much as about thirty kilometers downstream, down the foothills of the High Atlas, blocks of rocks, tore trees and carried off his men and animals, livestock, and vegetation. Summer carriages were reduced to carcasses and the trip became a nightmare for them, "an article in Le Matin reports.

A few days later, it is in Oued Amlil, in the province of Taza, that the flood of Oued Abiod will cause 43 deaths, according to the Directorate of Surveillance and Risk Prevention of the State Secretariat for Water.

Two years later, the floods that will experience the cities of El Hajeb, Taza and Khenifra will cause 60 deaths. In 1999Wadi R'dat (tributary of Oued Tensift) in Algu village, which "knows at least one flood per year", carries six people by destroying several houses.

The year 2003 will also record catastrophic floods in several cities such as Mohammedia and in the Rif. And the casualties will continue: In 2008The floods will kill seven people in Errachidia, Midelt, Boulemane and Fez. The same year, in the Nador region, 11 people will lose their lives in "torrential rains and an ocean of mud", the Kirt wadi.

In November 201447 people died in bad weather and floods in southern Morocco, particularly in Sidi Ifni. That year, more than 23,000 homes were damaged.

Two years later, six deaths and two missing persons were flood reports in Taroudant and Ouarzazate. Four people from the same family will also be missing following the flooding of Oued Oughri in Ouled Berhil near Taroudant, the same month.

A drama that will be followed in particular by the one that occurred this week in the village of Tizirt, where seven people died.

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