Tremor aid effort grows
26 February 2004
MADRID – Spain sent EUR 20 million Thursday to help the earthquake disaster efforts in Morocco.
Only EUR 10m is repayable to the Spanish government, authorities said.
The move came as the death toll from Tuesday’s earthquake reached 570 and an international aid operation was underway in the north African town struck by the tremor.
Rodrigo Rato, Economics Minister, said only EUR 10m is repayable to the Spanish government.
Rato said he had been in talks with his Moroccan counterpart, Fatala Ualalú, who said priority would be given to providing a water supply, new infrastructure, sanitary facilities and electricity and health services.
Ualalu told his Spanish opposite number that his country was “very thankful” for Spain’s contribution to help the recovery operation.
Meanwhile another tremor measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale struck Thursday near the site of the disaster.
The National Geographic Institute said the tremor happened at 1.07pm (12.07pm GMT) near Alhucemas, the centre of the original quake.
This latest quake was felt in Melilla, the Spanish protectorate in Africa and in Malaga, in Andalusia, on the Spanish mainland.
The first earthquake, measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale, struck early Tuesday, killing at least 570 and making thousands homeless.
Rescue services said the city airport has become a temporary morgue as many bodies await burial.
Thousands of survivors spent Wednesday night in the open, fearing more tremours.
A big rescue operation involving the army and the Red Crescent is under way, but they have had difficulty reaching the mountain villages.
Former colonial power France is flying out rescue workers with sniffer dogs and lifting equipment, and the United Nations and the international Red Cross have teams on standby.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news