Spanish town of Lorca rocked by earthquake

Spanish town of Lorca rocked by earthquake

The Spanish town of Lorca has been hit by an earthquake with the loss of at least eight lives.

Thousands of local residents spent the night out of doors in the town following the 5.2 magnitude tremor early yesterday evening.

At a depth of ten kilometres, 120km south-west of Alicante, the quake is believed to be the worst in the European nation for at least 50 years.

Wednesday evening’s quake came about two hours after a 4.4-magnitude tremor.

Earlier estimates suggested ten people may have died, but officials later revised the total down.

However, dozens more are believed to have been injured, many critically, as buildings in the town collapsed.

Mayor Francisco Jodar confirmed to the press as many as a third of the local population slept outside for fear of further aftershocks.

The Red Cross had set up a temporary shelter with 800 beds on the edge of town.

Spain is the second most popular tourist destination in the world, behind France.