Spain was hit by two earthquakes in quick succession yesterday. Several people were reported to have died after a 5.1 magnitude quake hit the Murcia region just before 7.00pm local time, less than two hours after a 4.5 quake in the same area.
Thousands of people spent the night outside after several buildings collapsed in towns near the epicentres.
The southeastern region of Spain where the earthquake occurred is very seismically active, as it sits near the boundary of the Eurasian and African plates (see map), notes the US Geological Survey (USGS).
“The epicenter of the 11 May earthquake is situated near a major fault, the Alhama de Murcia fault,” says the USGS. “However, significant field work in the epicentral region of the earthquake will be necessary to confidently determine if the earthquake occurred on a segment of the Alhama de Murcia fault or on a nearby fault.”
Image: location map for the second quake / USGS