AN earthquake of magnitude 6.1 has hit southern Spain, killing a 12-year-old boy and injuring at least 26 people in Melilla.
The quake struck at around 5.22 am 162 km south-east of Malaga and 33 km in depth, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The child died of a heart attack after suffering a panic attack in the Moroccan town of Alhucemas, just outside the Spanish enclave of Melilla.
It was followed by a second tremor of 5.0 magnitude at 5.30am and another of 5.3 magnitude at 5.34am.
The Spanish city of Melilla in northern Africa was the worst hit, with 15 people injured and telephone lines and electricity cut.
There are no reports of casualties on mainland Spain, but thousands of people along the Andalucian coast, Granada and Sevilla reported feeling the tremors.
The earthquake hit 40 miles north of the Moroccan city of Al Hoceima and 100 miles south of Gibraltar.
In Estepona, residents reported buildings shaking for at least 10 seconds.
“Woken up by a#earthquake in #estepona. Gentle swinging of the house is felt, 3 repetitions so far,” tweeted Harijs Veveris.
Emergency services in Malaga received 250 calls from worried people.
“It was terrible. The house was moving like a cigarette paper,” said Ricardo Alvarez.
In Melilla, buildings were damaged and frightened residents poured onto the streets.
It is reportedly the fourth biggest earthquake to have ever hit Malaga.