A house fell down in Fez medina the other night. People were killed and more were injured. That a structure just tumbled like that is not all that surprising after the rains we had this winter. The fact that a house can just suddenly fall sends shivers of fear through every resident in the medina. It's not the first time and it won't be the last.
I have mentioned in the past, in posts I have since deleted, that a huge ruin sits behind my house. It is only a couple of stories tall, but gets more decrepit with each passing winter. About a week ago, during a mild quake, my not-too-brilliant cat fell off the terrace wall and into the ruin below. It took her about three days to figure out how to get out and come home again. Actually, I don't think she did it alone. Her sister went and got her because she was looking very please with herself when I went upstairs to see them. The point is, however, it was too dangerous to go down there and try to get her.
Unstable houses in this area of the city are a danger waiting to become a tragedy. That Fez Medina is a World Heritage Site, an important historical landmark as well as the heart of Morocco, makes this doubly shameful. There just doesn't seem to be any governing body in charge of protecting this area or supervising maintenance and restorations. Everybody pretty much does as they please and all hope for the best.
Given that the city has stood for 1200 years now, one just has to hope it can hold out for a few more centuries. Then, I suppose, it will be somebody else's problem?