Hampshire family caught up in Spanish earthquake

HAPPIER TIMES Amanda Broadbridge, with husband Neil and son Sonny and daughter Disney.
HAPPIER TIMES Amanda Broadbridge, with husband Neil and son Sonny and daughter Disney.
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A FORMER Hayling Island resident has witnessed first hand the damage caused by an earthquake, which hit a Spanish town last night.

Thousands of people have spent the night on the streets in the southern town of Lorca after the earthquake struck, killing at least 10 people.

Earthquake damage in Lorca southern Spain

Earthquake damage in Lorca southern Spain

An earlier quake registering 4.4 on the Richter scale happened at 5.05pm local time, and the second bigger shock of 5.2 followed at 6.47pm.

The quake has caused devastation as buildings have fallen, cars have been crushed, and has left thousands of people afraid to enter their homes.

The scenes have been witnessed by former Hayling Island man Neil Broadbridge.

The 43-year-old moved to Lorca seven years ago and lives 5km outside the town centre, where the tremors shook the town.

Neil, a real estate agent, said: ‘Our house was severely shaken and we had ornaments fall over, but thankfully nothing was damaged.

‘My wife Amanda, who works as an English teacher, had been giving a private lesson in the town centre and witnessed the damage.

‘It took me and my seven-year-old son Sonny about an hour to locate my wife and to make sure we were all safe.

‘When I met my wife the town centre was a horrific site.

‘I’ve heard about 10,000 people have been made homeless because of this.

‘Last night the emergency services were getting people away from buildings into open spaces.’

The epicentre has been registered in the Tercia mountain range, which is close to Lorca.

Today Spanish military have been called in to help emergency services.

‘My son goes to San Fernando School, which has been damaged, like all the others and he won’t be going to school today,’ added Neil.

‘Pretty much every building in the city centre has been damaged.

‘I saw cars being crushed and there’s a lot of rubble about.

‘I’ve never experienced an earthquake here before like this.

‘I once felt something about five years ago, but it was only a small shake, this one you could definitely feel.

‘There were ornaments coming off the shelves and it was very chaotic in the centre.

‘You had people being rushed out of the centre, but there were also people trying to get in to see if their property had been damaged and if friends and family were alright.’

Their 11-year-old daughter Disney Broadbridge is in Valencia with a school trip and heard about the earthquake via local news.

Neil said: ‘My daughter was a bit shaken when she heard about the news.

‘She was worried when we couldn’t speak to her, but we have spoken to her now and it’s ok.’

Meanwhile Gosport sailor Alex Thomson said he felt the vibrations in Valencia – more than 200 miles away.

A Twitter update said: ‘11 stories up in our apartment in Valencia and I felt the building swaying from the earthquake.’