Lorca Murcia Spain
May 12, 2011 by staff
A 4.4 magnitude earthquake was followed by a tremor of magnitude 5.2, the prime minister’s office said in a statement on its website. Earthquakes in the city on the Mediterranean coast also caused a “large amount” of damage to property, the statement said.
Spain has suffered a fatal earthquake since 1969, and the events of yesterday were the deadliest since 1956, state news agency Efe reported. Deputy Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, today visited the affected area, the government said.
The Defense Ministry sent 200 members of the emergency military unit to the area, including a search and rescue team, the government said.
Spanish television showed images of cars crushed under the rubble and chunks of stone fell from the facade of the church in Lorca, The Associated Press.
A field hospital was established in the city of more than 85,000 people and officials evacuated about 270 patients from a hospital after the building was damaged during earthquakes, AP said.
The tremors occurred within two hours apart; the second time Spanish 6:47 pm yesterday, according to U.S. Geological Survey. Their epicenters were near Lorca, about 350 kilometers (218 miles) south southeast of the capital, Madrid, AP, quoting John Bellini, a USGS seismologist.
Many residents spent the night camped in parks and other areas away from buildings, AP reported.
More than 24,000 people were killed or left missing after an earthquake of 9 earthquake and resulting tsunami beat Japan on 11 March. Earthquakes beat southern city of Christchurch New Zealand in September and February. The tremor of 6.3 magnitudes in February killed more than 170 people.
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