Thousands of People in Shelters After Another Earthquake Hit Puerto Rico This Weekend
A 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck Puerto Rico on Saturday, just days after a devastating 6.4-magnitude quake.
The tremor hit Saturday morning about eight miles southeast of Guanica, according to the Associated Press. There were no injuries reported during the quake or its multiple aftershocks, including one 5.2-magnitude.
The shaking was felt all the way in Ponce, about 20 miles away. “One building completely collapsed,” the town’s Deputy Mayor Elizabeth Ocasio told the AP. “There is a lot of historic infrastructure in Ponce.”
Puerto Rico has been struck by more than 1,200 earthquakes over the past two weeks. About 100 have been felt by residents. Cracked buildings, power outages and roads torn apart are increasingly common sights in the southwest of the island, according to the The New York Times.
Puerto Rican Gov. Wanda Vazquez declared a state of emergency last week and is seeking the U.S. government to declare the earthquakes a major disaster, which would free up more federal funding for aid as damage as of last week totaling up to $110 million.
This weekend’s earthquake once again knocked out power to places that had only just had electricity restored. About 93 percent of the island has restored power, according to the electrical authority.
Thousands of people are sleeping in shelters or outside, fearing that their homes may collapse during an unexpected quake. Aftershocks from the earthquakes could continue for another few weeks.
As of January 9 tourism officials said the infrastructure is still in place to welcome travelers, particularly in San Juan, according to tourism officials. Travelers who are headed to the southern coast should check in with their accommodations before departure. Discover Puerto Rico recommends that visitors to the island drink only bottled water as a precautionary measure.