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Lorca earthquake victims call for regional government to pay up
thinkSPAIN , Monday, March 26, 2012

IN a weekend marked by protests and demonstrations for various reasons, some 3,500 people who lost their homes during the devastating earthquake which hit Lorca (Murcia) last May gathered outside the regional government headquarters clamouring for their promised financial assistance.

They claim the Murcian parliament is sitting on the money, which they urgently need to rebuild their homes and lives following a tremor of 5.8 on the Richter scale which left at least four dead and thousands homeless.

Buses set off from various parts of Lorca – notably La Viña, the district which was hardest-hit by the quake – arriving in Murcia city at around midday.

They questioned the fact that Lorca's heritage – including the bell-tower which famously collapsed on live TV – took priority over homes, schools and health centres when it came to handing out funds to rebuild the town.

Although those affected are in favour of historical buildings being restored, they consider that the needs of ordinary people should come first.

Two schools were reduced to rubble and have not been rebuilt, nor is there any provision in the budget for their reconstruction.

Only 206,000 euros were provided by the regional government for rebuilding Lorca.

Hundreds of residents whose homes were not entirely crushed say they still suffer major structural problems and have yet to see the funds they were promised to make them safe and habitable again.

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