Experts puzzled over bizarre quakes in Spain- no buildings should have fallen, and no deaths

May 12, 2011LORCA, SP – The buildings which collapsed during the double earthquake that killed eight people in Spain should never have fallen down in earthquake of that magnitude, experts have claimed. Up to 15,000 people have been left homeless in the southeastern city of Lorca after Spain’s most destructive earthquakes in 50 years. However, Luis Eugenio Suarez, the president of the Spanish Geological Association, told Italian publication Publico Online that a 5.2 magnitude earthquake “should not have claimed any victims” and that the buildings in Lorca “should not have fallen down.” He said: “Murcia, Andalucia and the Levante are areas of seismic risk. So they should have been prepared. An earthquake of 5.2 is not sufficiently intense to collapse buildings.” Buildings may have been more likely to fall if they had sustained previous damage. Thousands of people camped outside overnight in the southeastern Spanish city of Lorca in fear of further tremor. One group of four evacuees sat on fold-up chairs in the early hours, unable to sleep. As they escaped their damaged building they had seen the corpses of three people outside killed by falling bricks. I was scared to death,” said one elderly woman who declined to give her name. The stronger tremor, which did most of the damage, struck at 6:47 pm (1647 GMT) with a depth of six miles and could be felt as far away as the capital Madrid. It hit nearly two hours after a smaller 4.4-magnitude quake. –Telegraph
Spain is a relatively low risk country for quakes, and buildings are not generally constructed to protect against seismic shaking. Having said that, the Murcia region is the most seismically active in the country, and some of the medieval buildings that were badly damaged in this event may have been weakened by past earthquakes in the area. About 22,000 buildings were damaged by the 5.2 magnitude earthquake. The Murcia fault line lies reasonably close to the subduction zone where Europe and Africa collide – though, as Dr Musson explains, “most of the action is taking place off the coast of North Africa.” The energy released in such quakes ultimately comes from the expansion of the Atlantic Ocean floor at the Mid-Atlanic Ridge. This expansion is pushing Europe in a south-easterly direction. However, the eastern half of the Mediterranean is more seismically active than the west. According to Dr Musson, the eastern Mediterranean is more “tectonically complex”, with movement occurring not just on the Eurasian and African tectonic plates, but also the Anatolian plate that encompasses most of Turkey. –BBC
(c) UK Telegraph 2011
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10 Responses to Experts puzzled over bizarre quakes in Spain- no buildings should have fallen, and no deaths

  1. Corrie says:

    UNLESS: The buildings were weakened by some other means and UNLESS the earthquake was trigered by another incident. Many will jump on the HAARP tune, I do not. I do have a Radio theory, but such signals are cosmic in nature. Curious to know if there were unexplained animal deaths or if there were strange animal behavious prior to the quake. The previous article about Crab Nebulae is VERY interesting and certainly do hold lots of explanations in it.


  2. J Guffey says:

    Another sad event. Praying for those affected by disasters Worldwide. May God have mercy.


  3. olivia says:

    i think the type of motion, being in the horizontal or vertical plane, gives it more strength. i can t recall which one but i think it is the horizontal. This one may have combined both. Also, if the tremor was only at 1 km depth, that makes it a very strong one. Hopefully these were not pre-tremors. The Universe is going through some radical shifts, Mother Earth follows her family


  4. Logman says:

    Those buildings are super old, in an ancient part of the world and it doesn’t suprise me that a 5.2 could do so much damage.


  5. Bob says:

    The ground speed a which a earthquake travels is a big key factor in the destruction that a earthquake causes. You can have a huge quake but if the ripples are slow then there is less damage but take a 5.0 for example and the earthquake ripples are fast then the building goes through quicker jolts. God bless the families affected.


  6. Tina Marie says:

    I don’t know if the buildings were old or not, but I do recall an article I read somewhere awhile back about sub-standard building practices and materials in that region when talking about newer buildings and the threat of future earthquakes. It seems peoples memories are short when considering these potential disasters. It may have been 50 years since the last one of this magnitude, but that is but a second in time when you look at the big sceme of things. My prayers goes out to the people there. May God be with them and this be a wake up call for the builders and inspectors responsible for making sure the buildings are as safe as possible for the future.


  7. Anton Allen says:

    Logman you are spot on! over the years concrete weakens considerably..


  8. jason says:

    USGS downgrades quakes to keep people from getting suspicious. Is it possible this quake was higher than they are claiming?


  9. charupan says:

    Perhaps a small earthquake can produce large vibration in structures if both have the same resonant frequency. It may be possible if the quake was twice as strong at magnitude 5.4, the damage might be smaller?


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