Well, this is quite a bit of news all things considered. Earthquakes aren’t all that common in Spain and fatal ones even less so. Yesterday, not one but two small quakes shook the earth around the small city of Lorca, Murcia, in the southeast corner of Spain, some 500 kms from Madrid. If Lorca stood out for anything in my mind up till that moment it was because its patron saint is St. Patrick, a rarity in this country. I have gone by the town several times on the way to Almeria but never actually been there.
The temblor was notable for several reasons: one because it happened at all. Despite the fact there is a great deal of seismic activity in the region, most of it goes unnoticed. Second of all, they were like twin earthquakes. First came a 4.1-er at around 6:00pm on Wednesday evening and then forty-five minutes an even stronger one, 5.2, further rocked the city. These are terribly destructive quakes, but apparently two factors came into play when explaining the unusual death toll: nine, at the moment. The epicenter of the second one was actually quite close to the surface of the earth, just a kilometer down; the other reason might be that most of those structures in that town are just not designed to absorbed even the seemingly most harmless of earth tremors. Add to that the fact probably many people poured out into the streets when yet another more quake was on the way. In any event, it is quite a shocker and certainly tragic news for many people. My condolences to the families affeacted and wish the good people from Lorca a speedy recovery.