Spanish mourn earthquake victims

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Spanish mourn earthquake victims

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A funeral mass will be held today for the nine victims of Wednesday’s earthquake in southern Spain, the deadliest for 50 years.

The tremor, centred on the city of Lorca, injured a further 130 people and forced around 15,000 from their homes.

Emergency camps have been set up for people unable to return to their houses until they are declared safe. Immigrants are especially badly hit because they often do not have extended family to help.

The Red Cross has distributed over 10,000 blankets and 2,000 fold-up beds, as well as food and water.

Around 20,000 buildings have been damaged, including many from the 16th and 17th centuries.

The older the buildings, the more vulnerable they are to earthquakes.

Bulldozers are continuing to clear the streets of the tons of rubble.

Spain’s Interior Minister visited the stricken area on Thursday. Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said everything in the government’s power would be done to help, including opening nearby army, naval and airforce bases to provide better temporary shelter for people.

Structural checks are now being carried out by engineers, and it’s clear it could take some time before it’s safe for people to go home.