Thousands spend a second night outside their homes in Lorca
Red Cross and government provide tents for over 5,000 town residents
The government called out the army Thursday to help the disaster-relief effort in earthquake-stricken Lorca as residents fearing more aftershocks struggled to find places to spend a second night outside their homes. Up to 6,000 people slept in tents spread across five emergency camps set up by the Red Cross and the Ministry of Defense.
The death toll from the two quakes that hit less than two hours apart in the Murcian town on Wednesday reached nine after a 41-year-old woman died on Thursday at a hospital from injuries she sustained in the disaster.
Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero will tour the area today. On Thursday he assured the residents in the region that the government will not hold back in spending money to rebuild the town and help people get on with their lives. One insurance analyst estimated that the cost of the damage will ascend to around 40 million euros.
Engineers began inspecting the buildings and dwellings in Lorca to determine how safe they are. According to the director of Murcia's emergency services, Luis Gestoso, 80 percent of Lorca's residents can return home. But many residents are still afraid.
The twin quakes - the first measuring at 4.5 Richter scale magnitude and the second at 5.2 - caused considerable damage to buildings and roads in and around Lorca.
Parties suspended their political campaigning for the May 22 race until further notice.