If the building had collapsed at noon rather than early in the morning, a tragedy would have surely unfolded in the narrow, crowded streets of the Fez medina.
Rabat – A building collapsed between 7:45 a.m. and 8 a.m. on Sunday in the Fez medina (old city). No injuries or deaths have been reported as a result of the incident.
The building collapsed in a bustling section of the Fez medina, between Sagha Avenue, Acchabin Avenue, and Nouaariyine Avenue. The area is known for its diverse array of merchandise.
The building is one of many in the Fez medina that has been abandoned. Fortunately, this means that no inhabitants were in harm’s way during the incident. Because the building collapsed early in the morning, the area was empty of the merchants who usually occupy the area to sell their wares.
A source told Morocco World News that if the building had collapsed around noon, catastrophe and tragedy would have ensued as the area is usually crowded with merchants, shoppers, and other passersby.
The source added that city officials installed wood scaffolding around the building years ago. Medina residents had warned that this building and many others like it were at risk of collapsing at any time, and local authorities worked to mitigate this threat.
Despite the efforts made to preserve the areas in the Fez medina where buildings are at risk of collapse, some of the ancient structures have still caved in.
Fez’s remarkable, ancient buildings are key components of the medina’s qualification as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Founded in the 9th century, the sprawling medina of Fez is the largest in the world and home to the world’s oldest university, al-Qarawiyyin. Fez is known as Morocco’s cultural capital and spiritual center.
“The Medina of Fez bears a living witness to a flourishing city of the eastern Mediterranean,” according to UNESCO. The ancient city “constitutes an outstanding example of a medieval town created during the very first centuries of [the] Islamization of Morocco.”