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Deadly earthquake hits Spain, some 20,000 buildings damaged

Deadly earthquake hits Spain, some 20,000 buildings damaged
Eight dead, 130 injured. Hundreds queue for water and food.

Two Spanish police officers look at the rubble of a fallen building in Lorca, Spain, on Thursday, May 12, 2011. Two earthquakes shook southeastern Spain in quick succession Wednesday, killing people, injuring dozens and causing extensive damage to buildings. It was the largest number of earthquake-related deaths in Spain over 50 years.


LORCA – Residents in the Spanish town of Lorca are assessing the damage from quakes that killed eight people and forced thousands to spend the night outdoors, BBC reports.
The mayor of the historic town, with a population of 90,000, said: “Almost no-one slept in their homes”.

Some 20,000 buildings are believed to have been damaged in what was Spain’s worst earthquake for 50 years. The magnitude 5.2 tremor hit early on Wednesday evening, around two hours after a quake measuring 4.4. Those who died – including at least one pregnant woman and a child – were killed by falling masonry in the second tremor.

Regional officials say at least 130 people have been injured, with several in a serious condition. Lorca’s Mayor Francisco Jodar said most of the town’s population had spent the night sheltering in their cars, streets, public squares or other towns. Some camped out in an outdoor basket ball court, and others used children’s playgrounds.

“We have provided them with blankets, food, water and both medical and psychological attention,” he said. “It is very sad to see neighbours spending the night in the street,” he added. “There is desperation and fear that there could be another seismological event.”

Many people were queuing at first light for food and hot drinks from emergency workers. Some were returning to their homes to assess the damage, although many were ordered to keep away until a safety assessment of their buildings had been carried out.

The Red Cross says it has moved in 24 ambulances and set up three field hospitals. Hundreds of military teams are now in the town, searching the rubble for victims and survivors, beginning the clean-up and checking which buildings are safe to enter.

Schools and some roads remain closed, although some train services have now been restored, Spanish media reports.
The most powerful earthquake struck the town, in Murcia region, at 18.47 at a depth of just 10km (six miles). The shock could be felt as far away as Madrid.

Romanian foreign ministry: no romanian citizens among the victims

No Romanian citizens are among the quake victims in Spain, the Romanian Foreign Ministry (MAE) informs through a release. It further reads that there are no details available yet as regards the nationality of the people wounded by the tremor, MAE expecting information from the Spanish authorities.

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