Earthquakes Hit Southern Spain; At Least 8 Dead

May 12, 2011

Two earthquakes, the first measured at magnitude 4.4, and the second a much stronger tremor measured at magnitude 5.2, struck Southern Spain near the city of Lorca late Wednesday afternoon at 6:47 PM, local time.

At least 8 people reportedly perished when the second quake struck, and damage in and around Lorca is considerable. Emergency services are rendering assistance to quake victims in the town, which is located around 120 kms, or 75 miles, southwest of Alicante.

Many of Lorca’s 90,000 residents spent the night outdoors, as they were unable, or unwilling, dues to the fear of aftershocks, to return to their homes. The Spanish Red Cross has established emergency shelters for the victims.

Televised news reports have shown a scene of devastation, as many older buildings, including an historic church, simply collapsed from the force of the quake. Streets are strewn with rubble, making access to damaged buildings and rescue efforts more difficult.

Officials described the quake as the strongest to hit Spain in 50 years. The area where it struck is the most seismically active in the country, as it lies close to where the tectonic plates of Europe and Africa meet.

Source: news reports

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