The day after a rare earthquake in Spain that killed nine people, injured nearly 300, and left 10 percent of buildings in the town of Lorca with structural damage, residents and the government are coming to terms with the challenges ahead.
Thousands of the population of 90,000 slept outside last night, and many are awaiting permission to return to their homes.
“We’re desperate. We’re all in the street because half of the town’s been destroyed,” said one woman.
Hundreds are queueing for food aid, and nearly 400 army tents and a field hospital are being set up. Government ministers and the leader of the opposition have visited to promise support.
“We are going to have a lot of work to do. First of all we have to help those who have lost their homes, and we don’t know how many of those there are yet. Then the hard task of rebuilding everything can begin,” said Prime Minister José Luis Rodruigez Zapatero.
800 military and civil guard personnel have been rushed to the town. Some 3000 people have no homes to return to, while many others are waiting to see if their homes will need extensive repairs, or demolition.