At Earthquake-Report we are upset that a lot of people living in Lorca and other potentially dangerous earthquake sensitive areas in the world, are not at all earthquake prepared.
Main Reason : People have often had NO specific training on being earthquake prepared AND panic is taking over from rational thinking.
Lorca and the first 4.5 earthquake
After the first weak 4.5 earthquake, Earthquake-Report was alerted by the close distance of the epicenter to Lorca and even more by the shallow depth of the hypocenter. By experience, we know that the exact location of the epicenter can have easily an error margin of 10 or more km. At first we were only looking for reports of cracks in walls and not for any major damage. But even after the first shaking, reports of minor damage and the evacuation of a home for elderly people kept our attention. Early reports out of Lorca mentioned people running into the streets.
Lorca and the second 5.2 earthquake
While writing our in-depth report on the first 4.5 magnitude quake, the news of a second 5.2 quake reached us. More and more news-facts did indicate that the damage was considerable and that people were hit by the falling rubble from historic buildings, older houses, roof tiles, collapsing gutters, etc.
As soon as the Spanish press heard what happened (first quake), news gathering teams were send to Lorca. The images from the collapsing clock tower were the direct result of the video teams present to report about the first quake. The same footage gives us a good impression about what was going on immediately after the second 5.2 earthquake.
People were interviewed immediately after the second quake and told reporters what they had experienced with a vibrating emotional voice.
A woman told a reporter “My husband send me out of the house when the shaking started“.
On the many video’s, people can also be seen walking in the sometimes narrow streets close to walls.
Both 2 red sentences are the main preparedness errors people are making again and again during an earthquake.
The chance on being severely injured or even being killed during an earthquake is way higher if you run out of the house than if you “drop, cover and hold” inside the house.
Falling debris has caused at least some people being killed in Lorca (based on many early media reports).
If a 1 kg stone falls on somebody’s head from a height of 4 to 5 meters, there will only be a small chance of surviving.
On the video we can see a Spanish TV reporter having a near death escape of a falling clock tower.