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Ten dead in Spanish earthquake (UPDATE 2)

Other News Materials 12 May 2011 01:05
At least 10 people were killed Wednesday in a magnitude 5.2 earthquake in south-eastern Spain, regional officials said, dpa reported.
Ten dead in Spanish earthquake (UPDATE 2)

Death toll updated (first version posted at 23:19)

At least 10 people were killed Wednesday in a magnitude 5.2 earthquake in south-eastern Spain, regional officials said, dpa reported.

The fatalities in the city of Lorca included a 13-year-old boy, according to television reports. Several other people were reported injured.

By late Wednesday the central government in Madrid had confirmed four fatalities.

Emergency teams were combing damaged buildings in search of victims and the government sent a military unit of 150 soldiers to assist rescuers.

The quake had its epicentre near Lorca, in the Murcia region. It followed an initial quake with a magnitude 4.5, which only damaged the facades of some buildings.

The second quake caused several buildings and a church tower to collapse in Lorca. Most of the damage was reported in older neighbourhoods, where buildings were less solid. Falling rocks smashed parked cars on streets filled with rubble.

"The streets are full of people, we don't know where to go and many people are in shock," a witness said.

An elderly people's home, the city hall and a hospital were evacuated.

Political parties in the region suspended the electoral campaign ahead of planned May 22 local elections.

The earthquake was the deadliest in Spain since 1956, when 12 people were killed in the Granada region. Spain experiences about 2,500 earthquakes annually, but the vast majority are so slight they are not even noticed by local residents.

Lorca, with 100,000 residents, suffered a magnitude 4.7 quake in 2005, in which nearly 1,000 homes were damaged.

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