SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A Bay Area family is sharing a frightening story about the earthquake in Morocco. They were visiting the country when the shaking began. Quake-ready training they learned growing up helped keep them calm.
"It's insanely beautiful and an interesting mix of cultures," said Natalie Garnett.
It was a dream Moroccan vacation for my friends, the Garnett-Hunter family from Marin and San Francisco. But their last day visiting Marrakech was truly unforgettable.
The 6.8 magnitude quake struck Morocco late Friday night.
"It was the scariest earthquake I've ever lived through," said Christina Garnett.
Garnett and daughter Natalie say they feared their three-story hotel would collapse.
"So me and my mom are just looking at each other and suddenly, we're like, 'We need to run for the door because we have been training for this our whole lives. We're from San Francisco, we've lived through earthquakes, we know about earthquakes, but there's still a few seconds when you're in disbelief," said Natalie Garnett.
Many ran for safety from homes and restaurant. The epicenter, about 45 miles south of Marrakech, the heaviest damage in Morocco's Atlas Mountains.
The family captured images of quake debris in the Old Medina section of Marrakech.
"We evacuated after 15 minutes. Our host made us leave, and we walked to the main square where there were hundreds of people," said Patrick Hunter.
Patrick says many people were in shock, there was fear of aftershocks.
"It's really difficult to hear about the damage that was done," Patrick said.
"The next morning we walked through the town, the baker's chimney had fallen. He was trying to get bread out to the community to feed people," Christina said.
Amid the tragedy and a rising death toll the family says, there's hope and resilience.
"So, it's the amazing community spirit that struck us. It's wonderful they are going to keep going," Christina said.
The family has now traveled out of Morocco but hope to return soon.
"We just want to send love and support to the people of Morocco," Christina said.
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