Morocco earthquake: Inside Amizmiz, the tourist town 'ripped apart' and 'expecting 2,000 dead'

A few months ago, my friend drove through Amizmiz on holiday.

It was a lively, colourful and welcoming town, a stop-off for many who want to visit the Atlas Mountains. Now, it has been ripped apart.

Everywhere you go in Amizmiz, you smell dust and see rubble.

CCTV shows moment earthquake struck - latest updates

As we drive in, the pavements are bustling with people, some of whom are now sleeping in a temporary camp just at the edge of the town.

For some, their homes are either destroyed or too unsafe to inhabit.

Others don't want to sleep under a roof anymore.

All around them is horrendous evidence of how homes can collapse straight down, crushing everything and everyone in their path.

I hear one dreadful story. A man called Dag - an Italian who moved to this town a decade ago - survived the earthquake but his brother-in-law, who was on the ground floor of his home, died when it collapsed.

Dag tells me you can still see some of his body through the ruins.

Nobody can recover it because they don't have the machinery to lift the debris.

Dag's wife, the dead man's sister, has to walk past the site to get into town.

A man wants to show me the remains of his house.

He is clutching a small paper bag, which he says contains all the possessions he has left.

He guides me through alleys strewn with rubble and we stop at an opening.

A single rescuer, along with some local men, is trying to reach through an opening.

"The woman in there is dead," says my companion. "It is the mother of my friend. His wife is also in there, and she is also dead."

And he says this with almost no emotion in his voice. People in this town are running on adrenaline. Many say they simply cannot process what has happened - it is too overwhelming.

Dag actually smiles and wishes me good luck as he leaves, having moments earlier told me that, as well as his brother-in-law, many of his friends are dead.

"One day I will come to terms with this, but not today," he said.

There is Fatima, blessed with a friendly face and a welcoming character but now burdened with a house that is falling apart and memories of a terrible night.

"There was so much noise, I couldn't get out of the door. I can't remember everything - I was in shock. My house has gone. I have lost everything and now I am living on the street."

A paramedic stands at a junction and warns people that the street ahead is particularly perilous.

It is steep, broken and there are exposed power lines.

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There is no electricity here, no running water, no communications. They are cut off and exposed. And the stoicism of today may turn into anger tomorrow.

And all the time, the number of dead will go up. We ask the paramedic about the devastation in this town and he shakes his head. "We think there will be 2,000 dead," he said. "In the whole region?", we ask? "No, just in this one town."

Two thousand people dead, in one town. It takes a moment to sink in.

The population of Amizmiz was reckoned to be about 20,000.

So that's one in 10 people killed by the earthquake. No wonder people have trouble coming to terms with that.

I walk through the rubble. To my right is another house that has simply collapsed and I reach down and pick up some of the fragments that have turned a road into a demolition site. They crumble in my hands. These houses were not made to cope with this sort of violence.

The people inside would have had no chance. No chance at all.