Casablanca residents have lived a night of horror after heavy rains and climate-vulnerable infrastructures caused floods in several neighborhoods across the city.
Several photos and videos shared on social networks document the gravity of the floods, with the waters penetrating homes, submerging cars, and causing significant damage to roads, tunnels, and tramway vehicles.
The situation angered locals who took to social media to express their indignation.
Many called on local authorities, especially Casablanca Mayor Abdelaziz El Omari, to provide explanations about what has happened.
The tragic event stands in stark contrast to local authorities’ consistent description of Casablanca’s infrastructures as some of the best in the country.
The damage caused by the floods is still under assessment. However, based on the footage available online, it is certain that the material losses that citizens suffered would be in the millions of dirhams.
While a large number of citizens expressed their anger at the situation through complaints, others felt the exceptional situation requires a touch of comedy.
Several internet users took the photos of the floods and turned them into funny images. One individual transformed a photo from Casablanca into the sinking scene of James Cameron’s iconic movie Titanic.
Another Twitter user updated the logo of local development company WeCasablanca to make it more fitting for the situation.
The floods in the streets, documented by citizens, were matched with a similar situation at the Mohammed V Stadium, broadcasted on live television.
Under heavy rain, Morocco’s largest stadium hosted a CAF Champions League game between local club Raja Casablanca and Senegal’s Teungueth FC.
The stadium’s pitch was so wet players were no longer able to roll the ball on the ground and were forced to switch to a pinball-like playstyle for the entire game.
The situation in the stadium caused international indignation and ultimately led to the elimination of Raja Casablanca, who are known for their short passes playstyle, from the CAF Champions League.
While local authorities are yet to issue an official statement on the situation, the company managing sanitation in Casablanca, Lydec, has been quick to deny responsibility.
Lydec blamed the situation on the heavy rains, saying precipitations have averaged 33.7 millimeters from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and reached up to 53 millimeters in some Casablanca neighborhoods.
The company announced it has mobilized 358 staff members and 233 vehicles to assist the most affected neighborhoods and help unblock drainage systems.
Taking into account the considerable state-sponsored budgets allocated for Casablanca, nearly MAD 4.5 billion ($510 million) in 2020, one can only wonder why infrastructures are not climate-resilient.