Earthquake in Puerto Rico: In parts of southern Puerto Rico, electricity was turned off and reports of some damage were reported after a 5.5 magnitude earthquake on Saturday morning.
The US. The Geological Survey, local time on the Pons and Penuellas coast occurred at 7:19 am – the region has been hit by a series of earthquakes since late 2019.
A spokesman for Pons City told the Associated Press that the second-floor balcony had collapsed, and images on social media had damaged the city’s colonial center.
The earthquake and several tremors in the capital, San Juan, and the island have been in lock-down since March 16 due to coronavirus.
The government reminded Wanda Vazquez not to forget the virus-related safety precautions if people evacuate their homes.
“For our people, stay calm,” Vazquez wrote on Twitter. “We are ready for any emergencies. If your structure is damaged, you should leave with your mask and your emergency backpack. “
The agency said Puerto Rico’s Power Authority had demolished its Ecoelectrica power plant offline, but no damage was reported at the Guiabal and Gujataka dams.
The U.S. Territory, with a population of 3.2 million, has reported 1,757 coronavirus cases and 95 deaths since the onset of the pandemic. The island will take its first steps toward reopening its economy on Monday.
The southern coast of Puerto Rico was hit by an earthquake that began in late 2019 and ended with a 6.4-magnitude and continuous quake on January 7 that damaged and destroyed hundreds of buildings and left one dead. It has forced thousands of people to sleep in government-provided and makeshift camps. Many of those people are still sleeping outside.
Jose Seda, 55, spent more than a month camping in the southern city of Guanilla, following the earthquakes earlier this year. He is back at his home on Saturday, and the morning jolt sends him down the street.
“It’s strong,” he said. “There is no way to feel.”
But what really bothers people right now is the coronavirus lockdown, which keeps them from working.
“People are stuck in the house and want to get back to work,” he said. “Because of the financial situation, we are disappointed.”
Saturday’s earthquake was related to January’s “major shock”, the USGS said – making it one of more than six aftershocks with a magnitude of 5.5 or higher. In addition, the island has been subjected to a thousand magnitude and even greater tremors since then.
Puerto Rico is squeezed between North American and Caribbean tectonic plates, and earthquakes are frequent in the region.