A collapsed building is seen in Lorca following an earthquake in the southeastern Spanish town
Ancient town Lorca in Spain was hit by a rare 5.3 magnitude earthquake on Wednesday, damaging old churches, causing houses to collapse and killing at least 10.
According to Rafael Gonzales Tovar, a delegate from the central government in Murcia, Spain, people became very scared and were afraid to return home. He told national radio that the center of Lorca has been seriously damaged and that thousands of people are very disorientated.
Images of shaken families and children gathered in a square are being shown on TV as they sought safety from the fallen buildings while rubble and masonry filled the streets.
The earthquake happened at 6:47 in the afternoon local time, based on Spain's National Geographical Institute data. The U.S. Geological Survey says that the epicenter was only 1 kilometer below the ground.
Beforehand, a milder earthquake with 4.5 magnitude had hit the town, which is reliant on farming.
According to USGS, it was in 1997 when the last fatal earthquake shook Spain, killing one person.
Deputy Prime Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba will go to the town on Thursday to inspect the damage.
A 200-man military task force will be provided by the government to help secure the place where around 10,000 people were affected by the quake.
Lorca existed way back from the Bronze Age and the old part of this town consists of a network of narrow alleyways. It became a dangerous border town caught between the Moorish Kingdom of Granada and the Kingdom of Castile. Its Easter Fiesta is a famous occasion that draws a lot of foreign tourists and Spaniards alike.
Thousands of people did not go to work and school elsewhere in the Mediterranean in Rome because of the "earthquake fever", a decade-old prediction that Rome will be destroyed by a huge earthquake on May 11, 2011.
According to the USGS website, Italy was rocked by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake, which killed 295 people.
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