Spain remembers quake dead

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Spain remembers quake dead

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Spain has paid its respects to the nine victims of Wednesday’s earthquake, which has also left 3,000 people homeless.

A memorial service was held in Lorca, the southern city devastated by the 5.1-magnitude tremor.

It was attended by Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero, Crown Prince Felipe and his wife, Letizia.

Earlier, the Spanish premier was given a tour of the city to inspect the damage.

Lorca’s mayor says at least 80 percent of buildings have been damaged and many residents have gone elsewhere.

Around 800 emergency personnel have been deployed to the town.

Inspectors are now trying to determine which buildings are safe to return to.

Those with nowhere else to go, largely immigrant workers, have sought refuge in makeshift shelters.

Wednesday’s earthquake was the biggest to hit Spain since 1954 according to the US Geological Survey, the year when a 7.9-magnitude quake struck near Granada.