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Earthquake wakes residents of Spain's Morocco enclave Melilla

Published 25/01/2016

An earthquake struck near the Spanish enclave of Melilla
An earthquake struck near the Spanish enclave of Melilla

A pre-dawn earthquake sent people running into the streets and caused damage to buildings in Spain's north African enclave of Melilla on Monday.

The US Geological Survey said the quake measured 6.3 on the Richter scale and had its epicentre in the Mediterranean Sea about 48 miles (77km) north-west of Melilla, a small Spanish city surrounded by Morocco and the sea.

The quake struck at 5.22am local time (0422 GMT) and had several aftershocks.

Melilla government president Juan Jose Imbroda told Cadena Ser radio that there were no reports of injuries, mainly because the quake took place before dawn and most people were indoors.

Spanish television images showed chunks of concrete on the ground which had fallen from apartment buildings in Melilla, and residents who ran outside in their pyjamas following the quake.

The city government building was closed because of damage to its facade.

Mr Imbroda cancelled school classes for children until firefighter inspectors could check the school buildings.

The city government urged people to use cars as little as possible so as not to cause any traffic jams.

A spokeswoman said it was not immediately known how many buildings were damaged.

There were no immediate reports of what effect the quake may have had in Morocco.

Melilla has a population of some 85,000.

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