500 Bolivians Homeless After Earthquake in Spain

About 500 Bolivian citizens are homeless and cannot return to their homes after the damage caused by the 5.1 earthquake that shook the city of Lorca (southeast Spain) on Wednesday. The earthquake left nine dead and over 300 injured, reported the Bolivian consul in MurcĂ­a, Maria Celia Orellana.

"There were no deaths among Bolivians, nor injuries," stated Orellana to the EFE news agency and EL DEBER, while indicating that "about 4,000 Bolivians" reside in Lorca, which has a total population of about 92,000.

The consul added: "We have a lot of people who can't return to their apartments and don't have their belongings, their clothing, or any of their things". Of these, "many have family and friends in neighboring cities or municipalities near Lorca and have been dispersing in an attempt to join family or friends," explained Orellana.

"But there are some who don't have anyone. Approximately 500 Bolivians are now in the streets and are dependent on aid the Government of Spain is providing."

"We are still evaluating the situation," she added. "We don't know how many families will stay here," in the fairgrounds yesterday. The fact that many Bolivians were working in the fields when the quake hit Lorca saved many lives.

"At the time it happened, most were at their places of work. When the arrived (...) that's when they found the city had been destroyed," she indicated.

When asked if she is satisfied with the support given by the Spanish authorities to Bolivian, the consul responded: "We are very thankful to the Spanish government. We applaud the interest, the work and the support the Government of Spain is providing," as it is "providing all the humanitarian aid necessary for all inhabitants who were affected" in Lorca.

The 5.1 magnitude quake was followed by another less intense tremor which caused panic among the population. Many ran out into the streets during replicas which caused a fair amount of material damage.

Source: El Deber Date: 14 May 2011 Read this Article in Spanish

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