British tourists have revealed the terrifying moment the earthquake hit their hotels in Marrakech.
Helen Morris, who is staying at TUI BLUE Riu Tikida Garden, was trying to sleep when the shaking started.
“Everything started to shake and the rumble was very loud,” she said. “It was hard to get any coherent thoughts together other than ‘stay alive’.
“We first hid under the desk out of fear of the building collapsing.”
The tourist from Neath, South Wales, rushed outside with her friend Amy after the earthquake hit.
READ MORE: Deadly Morocco earthquake death toll triples to 820 leaving famous city in ruins
She told the Express: “When it stopped we ran outside and spent the entire night sitting and lying on the concrete and grass outside our hotel. We were let back in at around 6.30am this morning, but generally people are staying outside as much as possible.”
Helen arrived on September 1 and is set to travel back to Wales on Monday.
“The hotel does have some damage -mostly in one of the restaurants and then structurally a number of cracks have appeared across the hotel,” she added.
At least 820 people have died as a result of the devastating earthquake that shook Morocco overnight, the country’s state TV reported citing the Interior Ministry.
Another British tourist, Dan, from Bushey in Hertfordshire, who is currently staying at Opera Hotel, said he spent the night waiting for updates and did not get any from staff members after the shaking stopped.
He said: “we arrived late Wednesday, I had food poisoning Thursday night so we decided to go for a early walk and meal, we got into bed at 10pm and my wife woke me up with the hotel shaking, it felt like I was in a dream, being top floor didn’t help.
“We rushed downstairs and waited outside for updates and eventually around 3am we were told we can go back to the rooms but many like us stayed around the pool.”
He added: “We were waiting for updates and not getting anything. Staff were amazing but maybe senior staff could have shown more thought.
“We slept outside by the pool and have just come back (Saturday morning) to the room to shower and change.”
Dan and his wife are set to stay in Morocco until Thursday night, September 14.
Foreign Secretary, MP James Cleverly said in a tweet: “Devastating news of a substantial earthquake just outside Marrakech, Morocco. The UK is continuing to support British nationals in the region. We stand ready to help our Moroccan friends in whatever way we can.”
An earthquake appeal has been launched by the British Moroccan Society to support those affected.
BMS Chairman Mike Wood commented. “Our thoughts are with those immediately affected by this immense natural disaster, as well as their relatives and friends. As the tragic situation unfolds we are working closely with our partner associations to quickly get funds into the hands of those dealing with the immediate aftermath.”