12 May 2011

Fatal quake in southern Spain

10:18 pm on 12 May 2011

Thousands of people have spent the night outdoors in the southern Spanish town of Lorca, after the country's worst earthquake in 50 years killed at least eight people.

The magnitude 5.2 tremor struck at 6.47pm local time on Wednesday at a depth of 10km, toppling several buildings. A magnitude 4.4 earthquake occurred 90 minutes earlier.

Officials have revised the official death toll downwards, from 10 to eight. Spanish media report that dozens of people have also been injured and some are in critical condition.

Television images showed people gathering in a square, seeking safety from collapsed buildings. Masonry and rubble blanketed the streets.

There has been no earthquake in Rome, where many people took seriously an old prediction of a massive quake on 11 May.