Magnitude 5.9 earthquake rocks Puerto Rico, declares emergency

A Puerto Rican flag waves on top of a pile of rubble as debris is removed from a main road in Guanica, Puerto Rico on January 8, 2020, one day after Magnitude 5.9 earthquake rocks Puerto Rico. RICARDO ARDUENGO/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
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A magnitude 5.9 earthquake shook Puerto Rico on Saturday morning, inflicting a landslide within the southern municipality of Peñuelas. Because the island’s residents have been already reeling from a series of main quakes this week, including one on Tuesday that was the biggest in a century.

The quake at 8:54 a.m. local time struck Eight miles southeast of Guanica at a shallow depth of three miles, in accordance with the U.S. Geological Survey. It’s the latest in a string of quakes and aftershocks which have left thousands on the island without energy and water.

The quake was about eight miles south of Indios, Puerto Rico, within the Caribbean Sea, the USGS said, at a depth of 6.2 miles. Preliminary reports by the USGS said the quake was a magnitude 6.0 at a depth of 6 miles.

Within the nearby city of Guánica, around 500 people taking shelter at a sport advanced started to shout and cry after they felt the quake, El Nuevo Dia reported. Many grabbed their cell telephones to name kin.

“I want to leave Puerto Rico … I am panicking,” Ramona Lugo told the outlet. Puerto Rican Gov. Wanda Vázquez said on Twitter that she was communicating with local officers Saturday within the wake of the quake.

Puerto Rico has been rattled by temblors all through the week, including a 6.4 magnitude quake Tuesday that killed at the least one man, destroyed homes and left many of the islands without power. A 5.2 magnitude aftershock struck on Friday afternoon.

The US territory was anticipating power to return by Saturday to its 3 million residents, and authorities had tweeted that it was 95% restored a few hours earlier than Saturday’s quake about 8 a.m. ET.

Parts of Lares, Adjuntas, Ponce and San German lost electrical service after Saturday’s quake, the power company Electric Energy Authority said.

After the tremor, power was on to about 93% of the island, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority mentioned.

Magnitude 5.9 earthquake, Governor declares emergency

Since December 28, about 500 earthquakes of magnitude 2.0 or increased have hit Puerto Rico, which continues to be recovering from Hurricane Maria in 2017.

That storm killed nearly 3,000 people and left thousands and thousands of People without energy, water or shelter. Recovery has been slow and hard.

Amid the earthquakes, Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced this week declared a state of emergency and activated the Puerto Rico Nationwide Guard.

She told people to stay calm and expect aftershocks. Many took mattresses, tents, and tarps into their yards to sleep, afraid of what aftershocks may do to their homes, already harassed or broken.

Greater than 6,000 people have been staying in shelters, Rep. Jenniffer González-Colón, the territory’s non-voting delegate to Congress, said Friday.

Airbnb offers free housing on the island

Airbnb’s Open Homes program is offering free, non-permanent housing in Puerto Rico, its site says.

“Relief workers, neighbors who’ve needed to evacuate, and others impacted by the event” are eligible to book rooms for free of charge, Airbnb says. “If you’ve been displaced or are serving to with relief efforts, you may book free accommodations between January 9, 2020, and January 31, 2020.”

Residents may also donate space for these in want of non-permanent housing.