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Many dead in Lorca earthquake and army mobilised to help


spain lorca murcia earthquake

Two powerful earthquakes have shaken the southern Murcian town of Lorca, killing at least ten people and demolishing several buildings. The situations there is "chaotic" according to the regional government, which has asked the national government to mobilise troops and police to help in the rescue of survivors from collapsed buildings. Additional aftertremors are expected overnight.

Miguel Ángel Pérez, a spokesman for the region government, said that at least one child was amongst the dead, and that emergency teams were still combing the collapsed buildings for survivors.


The deceased were residents of the neighborhood of Las Viñas, a Lorcan area most affected by the earthquake. There have been a part of some buildings collapsed and many others have suffered structural damage.

The epicenter was located east of Lorca, the third most important twon in the Region of Murcia, with over 90,000 inhabitants. It has also been felt in several towns and the capital, Cartagena and Aguilas, and has even been felt in Almería, Jaén, Málaga, Granada and Seville. The agency Efe reports of damage even in Albacete and Vélez-Rubio (Almería). It is one of the strongest in the region of Murcia from on record, according to the Seismic Network of the National Geographic Institute.

The first earthquake hit at around 17:10 Wednesday afternoon and registered 4,5 on the Richter scale. The second earthquake, a few minutes later, registered 5,3.

Army mobilised

The Government has already mobilized the Emergency Military Unit to more quickly reach the Lorca and collaborate on possible rescue and debris removal in some areas. Military sources explained that the third largest search and rescue team, comprising about 150 soldiers, has left the barracks Bétera (Valencia), Roberto Benito reports.

The situation in Lorca is one of "chaos and widespread disaster" and there are also reaching the area agents from the Prevention and Response Unit of the National Police stations from Murcia and Cartagena and other nearby provinces.


Evacuations ordered

Hospital Rafael Méndez has been evicted by the local government structural damage. Every minute new data are confirmed. According to Europa Press, there are many buildings affected, such as the Belfry of the Church of San Diego, the roof of the asylum, the Torre del Castillo de Lorca Ram and a wall where there was evidence of a person trapped.

The government has ordered more troops and National Police to the area to help in the search for survivors, and the Minister of the Interior, Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, will go to Murcia early tomorrow morning to oversee rescue efforts. The regional government has asked for calm, but locals are terrified another earthquake will hit overnight.

The National Geological Institute said that the earthquakes were unusual, and warned of the possibility of strong after tremors in the forthcoming hours.

10,000 flee homes

The government in Murcia has ordered emergency meals to be prepared for at least 10,000 residents of Lorca who have been displaced or have fled their homes after the earthquake of 5.2 magnitude which struck on Wednesday in the region of Murcia.


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