eartquake.jpg
Photograph: emsc-csem.org

At least 26 people sustained light injuries in the Spanish exclave of Melilla, which lies on the northern coast of Africa, when an unusually strong earthquake struck under the Mediterranean Sea early Monday, the local health authority said.

The 6.3-magnitude earthquake was also felt in the south of Spain, as well as the north of Morocco, according to the earthquake observatory IGN in Madrid and a report by daily El Pais.

According to the US Geological Survey, the quake hit at 0422 GMT, at a depth of 10 kilometres, around 65 kilometres north of the Moroccan coast and 165 kilometres east of Gibraltar.

At least one aftershock reached magnitude 5.3.

People in the south of Spain, Malaga and in holiday resorts along the Costa del Sol were woken by the quakes, but no injuries were reported, according to the regional authorities in Andalusia.

"Our house was swaying as if the walls were made of butter," a local resident in the port city of Malaga told state broadcaster RNE.

There were also no injuries or building damage reported in Morocco, the state news agency MAP said.

Those injured in Melilla were being treated for cuts and bruises, the local health authority said.

Several building were severely damaged, with stones and other building parts falling to the ground. The city parliament had to be closed down after cracks were found in the walls. Schools were to remain closed until they had been properly inspected for damage.

Earthquakes are common in this part of the western Mediterranean. However, quakes with a magnitude of more than 6.0 are rare. The region was last struck by similar quakes in 1994 and 2004, according to IGN.

Related stories

Latest news

Francis, first pope to visit Anglicans in Rome, weighs S Sudan trip

Pope Francis became the first leader of the Catholic Church to visit the Anglican community in Rome on Sunday, where he said he was considering a trip to famine-struck South Sudan.

Ibrahimovic lifts Man United past Southampton in League Cup final

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored an 87th-minute winner as Manchester United beat Southampton 3-2 in an exciting League Cup final on Sunday.

London screens Iranian director's film amid Oscars boycott

Thousands of people watched a free screeening of Iranian director Asghar Farhadi's film "The Salesman" in London on Sunday to coincide with the Oscars.

Messi grabs winner as Barcelona go top with victory over Atletico

Lionel Messi scored the winner as Barcelona beat Atletico Madrid 2-1 on Sunday to move top of the Spanish first division.

Dubrovnik Sun Gardens Hotel member of The Leading Hotels of the World

The Dubrovnik Sun Gardens Hotel has joined the Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd., a global hospitality consortium of more than 375 hotels and resorts in over 75 countries.

Biggest Bosnian Serb party ceases all contact with Izetbegovic over ICJ judjment review request

The main committee of the biggest Bosnian Serb party which makes up the ruling majority in Bosnia and Herzegovina decided o Sunday that its officials would cease all contact with member of the Bosnian President Bakir Izetbegovic until the crisis occurred following the submission of a request to the International Court of justice (ICJ) to review its ruling against Serbia is resolved.

Egypt court adjourns Morsi retrial over prison escape

An Egyptian court adjourned a case against former president Mohamed Morsi until March 29 on Sunday, during the first session of his retrial over orchestrating a prison escape during the 2011 uprising.

Hamas rejects Netanyahu's proposal for international forces in Gaza

The Islamic Hamas movement rejected on Sunday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's proposal to send international forces to the Gaza Strip, the coastal enclave that Hamas has been ruling since 2007.

Deloitte: Growing optimism among CFOs

Chief financial officers (CFOs) in Croatia are more optimistic about growth and financial prospects in 2017 than they were last year, with most of them expecting increases in their company's revenue, a survey shows.

Russian agents main suspects for attempted coup in Montenegro

Russian citizens Eduard Shumakov and Vladimir Popoc, suspected of organising terrorist activities in Montenegro and forming a criminal organisation, are agents of Russia's Main Intelligence Agency (GRU), British, U.S. and other intelligence agencies confirmed, the Podgorica-based media reported on Sunday.

Six injured, 96 detained in Berlin fan clashes

Six people were treated in hospital and 96 detained in clashes in Berlin between fans of Hertha Berlin and Eintracht Frankfurt, police said Sunday.

Croatian government condemns extremism

The Croatian government on Sunday condemned all forms of extremism and acts of provocative nature aimed against the Serb minority in Vukovar as well as the rally organised by the Autochthonous Croatian Party of Rights (A-HSP) in Zagreb on Friday.