Wednesday, 19 Jun 2024

British tourists feared dead after Morocco earthquake found sleeping on street

Two British tourists feared dead following the devastating earthquake in Morocco have been found alive sleeping on the street.

Rebecca Calvert, 63, and her friend Hilary Mckegney, 64, were reported missing after relatives lost contact following the 6.8 magnitude quake on Friday.

The disaster, Morocco’s worst earthquake in 120 years, has so far claimed the lives almost 2,500 people with almost the same number of people injured.

The epicentre of the tremor was close to Ighil in Al Haouz Province, in the Atlas Mountains, around 43 miles south of Marrakech.

The two women were among thousands of petrified people who chose to sleep on the streets over fears aftershocks would cause buildings to crumble.

Mrs Calvert’s daughter, Katie, implored Foreign Secretary James Cleverly to send urgent aid to her mother, from Windsor, Berkshire.

She posted on X, formerly known as Twitter: ‘Our mother, Rebecca Calvert, is currently missing in Morocco, in the town of Imlil, really close to the earthquake.

‘She was staying at Hotel Le Village Du Toubkal.

‘We are sick with worry and need your help in finding her and bringing her home safely.’

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Mrs Calvert finally spoke to her husband as she travelled towards Marrakech on Sunday.

Mr Calvert, 66, said: ‘We lost all contact. Comms were down. The only road up there was closed.

‘We finally heard from my wife and her friend (on Sunday).

‘They slept with locals in the streets for two days.’

He added: ‘One thing that was clear from talking to the MP was that there’s a fair few British nationals in that area.

‘So there is bound to be someone in a less fortunate position.’

Mrs Calvert’s son, Callum, posted on X on Sunday: ‘We’ve now heard from Rebecca’s travelling party and she is safe and well and currently travelling to the airport to return home.

UPDATE: We’ve now heard from Rebecca’s travelling party and she’s safe and well and currently travelling to the airport to return home. We so so appreciate everyone’s support, including the foreign office, @AdamAfriyie and his Chief of Staff, and all the…
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‘We so, so appreciate everyone’s support,’ he added, thanking the Foreign Office, Mr Afriyie and his staff, as well as ‘all the friends and strangers who have gone so far out of their way to help us.’

‘Obviously this is an ongoing crisis and many others are still in need.

‘I feel so deeply for everyone affected by the tragedy and really hope that others in similar situations will be ok.’


Rescuers are in a race against time to reach any survivors trapped under the rubble of buildings which collapsed after the earthquake struck.

The number of people confirmed dead increased by 375 from 2,112 on Sunday, according to Morocco’s state news agency – with the number set to continue rising.

In an update shared on X, the Foreign Office said 60 UK search and rescue specialists, together with four rescue dogs and equipment, had been deployed to assist Moroccan-led efforts in the wake of the crisis.

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