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Earthquake of up to 5.4 on the Richter scale near Melilla
thinkSPAIN , Monday, February 22, 2016

ANOTHER earthquake off the coast of Melilla reaching at least 5.1 on the Richter scale has been recorded, although as yet the extent of any damage or injuries is not known.

The quake struck at 03.46hrs in the Alborán sea, said by the National Geographical Institute (IGN) to be of a magnitude of 5.1, although shortly before this was reported the United States Geological Service (USGS) claimed it had reached 5.4.

It was said to have been 67 kilometres out to sea off the northern Moroccan coastal town of Alhucemas, 69 kilometres from its near neighbour, Tirhanimine, and 171 from Gibraltar.

The tremor was said to have had its epicentre 73 kilometres from the Spanish-owned city-province of Melilla on the northern Moroccan coast, close to the Algerian border, and was 10 kilometres below the surface.

The quake which devastated Lorca (Murcia) in May 2011 was of a similar magnitude – 5.3 – and three kilometres underground.

A series of aftershocks followed – the most intense measuring 4.6, at exactly 03.52hrs.

This comes a month after a quake measuring 6.3 shook the city of Melilla, leaving 26 people with minor injuries but no fatalities, and causing parts of buildings to fall off.

Some of the Melilla residents affected have only just been able to return home after the last earthquake.

The previous tremor was felt in several provinces in Andalucía, the nearest mainland Spanish region to Morocco and Melilla, and in the Moroccan coastal city of Nador.


Photograph shows the aftermath of last month's earthquake off the coast of Melilla



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