Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ten killed as earthquake strikes historical town of Lorca in southeast Spain

Image: BBC World News
Sad news. From The Daily Mail:
Two earthquakes struck southeast Spain   in quick succession today, killing at least ten people, injuring dozens and causing major damage to buildings, officials said.

The epicentre of the quakes - with magnitudes of 4.4 and 5.2 - was close to the town of Lorca, and the second came about two hours after the first, an official with the Murcia regional government said on condition of anonymity in line with department policy.

The Spanish prime minister's office put the death toll at 10 and the Murcia administration said the deaths included a minor and occurred with the second, stronger quake. [...]

The quakes occurred in a seismically active area near a large fault beneath the Mediterranean Sea where the European and African continents brush past each other, USGS seismologist Julie Dutton said. The USGS said it has recorded hundreds of small quakes in the area since 1990.

Lorca, which has a population of about 90,000 people, dates back to the Bronze Age and probably gained its name from the Romans. The old part of the town is made up of a network of narrow alleyways.

The quakes were reportedly felt across Murcia, with tremors registered in Cartagena, Aguilas and as far away as Albacete.
In 2005, more than 900 homes in Lorca were wrecked by an earthquake measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale.

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