Deadly Double Earthquake In Southern Spain, Thousands In Mourning.

Lorca residents embrace in front of a collapsed building

Relatives have mourned those killed in the earthquake that devastated the Spanish city of Lorca at a funeral mass for victims of the disaster.

Nine people were killed on Wednesday when the 5.1-magnitude quake struck the popular tourist region of Murcia.

Crown Prince Felipe and his wife Letizia comforted the bereaved, many in tears, as around 2,000 people gathered for the service.

Four wooden coffins were lined up in front of the congregation during the mass, before being taken for burial in flower-draped hearses.

Families of the other five victims opted to hold private services.

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero also attended the mass, which marked the start of two days of national mourning.

There were five male and four female victims of the quake, including a 14-year-old boy and two pregnant women.

The emotional service was presided over by the bishop of Cartagena, Jose Manuel Lorca Planes.

“We have been very badly affected,” said Manuel Tudela, 58, who was mourning a friend, a neighbour and a female cousin, who were all killed in the disaster.

“This is something that we never expected,” he said. “We were not prepared for this.

“But the pain of the victims is much worse than the damage.”

Ripping open walls, toppling roofs and crushing cars under stones, the tremor also injured another 130 people and forced thousands from their homes.

According to the Red Cross, 15,000 of the historic city’s93,000 inhabitants were evacuated from their homes.

Some 3,000 people are still homeless after the disaster.

Mr Zapatero promised that an agreement would be signed in the next few days to ensure the reconstruction of Lorca.


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