10 Dead As Two Quakes Hit Spain

At least ten people, including a child, have been killed and dozens more hurt by two strong earthquakes in southern Spain.

A 4.4-magnitude tremor hit the small town of Lorca, in the region of Murcia on Wednesday afternoon.

It was followed by a stronger 5.2-magnitude quake around two hours later.

The epicenter of the quakes was close to the town of Lorca, and the second came about two hours after the first, officials said.

Francisco Jodar, the town’s mayor, told radio station Ser of the first reported fatalities.

“Unfortunately, we can confirm… deaths due to cave-ins and falling debris,” he said.

“We are trying to find out if there are people inside the collapsed houses.”

The Murcia regional government said a hospital in Lorca was being evacuated, dozens of injured people were being treated at the scene and a field hospital was being set up.

It said the ten deaths included a minor and were caused by the second, stronger quake.

Large chunks of stone and brick fell from the facade of a church in Lorca as Spanish state TV was broadcasting live from the scene.

A large church bell was also among the rubble.

The broadcaster reported that schoolchildren usually gather at that spot around that time, and if it had happened 10 minutes later, a “tragedy” could have occurred.

One Lorca resident told the Spanish newspaper El Pais: “I felt a tremendously strong movement, followed by a lot of noise, and I was really frightened.”

The town of Lorca has around 90,000 inhabitants.

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