An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.1 in Lorca in the province of Murcia has caused ten deaths and dozens of injuries. Following news of the quake the Spanish president has given orders for emergency military units to be sent to the affected area.
An earlier quake a couple of hours before the second larger one at around 18.50 today had a magnitude of 4.5. The second larger earthquake caused falling debris and damaged historic buildings in the area. Many people were injured by falling masonry and a number of patients and nurses were injured in the Rafael Méndez de Lorca hospital which has subsequently been evacuated. The epicentre of the quake was in the Tercia mountain range in the province of Murcia and was felt in the provinces – Almeria, Albacete and even Madrid. Cracks in major roads have occurred and the department of Transport has asked drivers for extreme precaution and not to travel towards the area surrounding Lorca. The A-7 tunnel in the direction of Andalucia is completely jammed due to the number of cars trying to leave the area.
The town hall of Lorca has opened up a warehouse for inhabitants of the area whose houses have been affected by the quake. Many people are still afraid to return to their houses due to fears of further quakes. Although Spain experiences numerous earthquakes every year most go unnoticed. However, Murcia is known to be the country’s most seismically active area.