Problems in the construction of older buildings or the dubious application of building regulations regarding earthquake-resistent standards may have aggravated the effects of Wednesday's double earthquake in the Murcia town of Lorca (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Many of the buildings affected were built before Spanish legislation was enacted, in 1975, to require construction companies to include features that would help buildings stand up to earthquakes. However, the number of buildings damaged that should have withstood the earthquakes, because they were built since then, has caused surprise. It is also thought that the sequence of the quakes resulted in greater damages because the second shock was stronger than the first (5.2 on the Richter scale), while normally after-shocks tend to be weaker. Thus buildings weakened by the first quake were unable to withstand the effects of the second one.
FC Barcelona will today celebrate their third consecutive Spanish league title with a procession through the neighbourhood of Les Corts, where the Camp Nou is located (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). Since the title was assured with their 1-1 draw at Levante on Wednesday night, the players and staff of Barça have taken to heart the words of trainer Pep Guardiola that much celebrating was necessary to mark the occasion, with various fiestas starting with the one-hour plane-ride home from Valencia. There have also been private parties, trips to discos and dinners since then, but today the celebrations take on a public face with a parade in which the players will board an open-top bus, although the route will be much shorter than recent similar processions. Starting at Camp Nou at 7.30pm, the tour will take in part of Les Corts, mainly to give children the chance to see their footballing heroes, before returning to the stadium around 9pm, which will be open to those who want to take part in the traditional show to mark the winning of a title; it will include speeches and fireworks.
The CIA has intensified its surveillance of jihadists in Catalunya in recent months (read article in Catalan here, Avui). The group has been keeping an eye on their movements in the hope of preventing any terrorist attacks that might be planned. The North American secret agents are mainly based in Barcelona and the counties of Tarragona, where they have located the majority of such radical groups in the autonomous community. The agents work, and co-ordinate their efforts, out of an office established for the purpose in the US Consulate-General in Barcelona. Other countries who have sent secret agents to Catalunya include Morocco, Pakistan, India and Israel. These details were revealed during a conference regarding jihadist terrorism that has taken place this week in Madrid, organised by the association of those affected by the Madrid bombings on March 11th, 2004. The information was presented at the event by the single representative taking part from the Catalan police force (Mossos d'Esquadra), David Miquel, representating the Catalan Police Trade Union (Sindicate de Policies de Catalunya); it was confirmed by sources involved with anti-terrorism who were consulted by Avui.