QUEENIE’S BLOG

Magnitude 5.9 earthquake rocks Puerto Rico

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a person standing in front of a building: 67 year-old William Mercuchi and his daughter Joan pose for photos in front of their house that collapsed after the previous day's magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Yauco, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. More than 250,000 Puerto Ricans remained without water on Wednesday and another half a million without power, which also affected telecommunications.

© Carlos Giusti, AP 67 year-old William Mercuchi and his daughter Joan pose for photos in front of their house that collapsed after the previous day’s magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Yauco, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. More than 250,000 Puerto Ricans remained without water on Wednesday and another half a million without power, which also affected telecommunications.

magnitude 5.9 earthquake shook Puerto Rico Saturday morning, the most recent in a string of quakes and afterschocks that have left thousands on the island without power and water.

The 8:54 a.m. quake struck 8 miles southeast of Guanica at a shallow depth of 3 miles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Earlier reports by the USGS said the quake was a magnitude 6.0 at a depth of 6 miles.

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The quake caused outages across the island, including areas of Lares, Adjuntas, Ponce and San German, according to Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

In the southwest town of Guánica, around 500 people taking shelter at a sports complex began to shout and cry when they felt the quake, El Nuevo Dia reported.

Many grabbed their cell phones to call relatives.

“I want to leave Puerto Rico … I’m panicking,” Ramona Lugo told the outlet.

Puerto Rican Gov. Wanda Vázquez said on Twitter that she was communicating with local officials Saturday in the wake of the quake.

It was the strongest quake since Tuesday’s 6.4 magnitude quake, which killed at least one person and knocked out power to virtually the entire island of more than 3 million.

Many on the island have lost their homes, and thousands remain in shelters. Some are sleeping outside or in open plazas for fear that the buildings could collapse.

“People are afraid,” Mayita Melendez, mayor of the southern coastal city of Ponce, Puerto Rico’s second largest city, told NPR on Friday.

Just 60% of Ponce residents have power and 88% have water, Melendez said.

Puerto Rico quakes:Many are forced to sleep outside

Ponce has sustained more than $150 million in damages, according to U.S. Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.), who visited the island Saturday. More than 700 people are homeless, and the bridge Guánica is beginning to crack, he said on Twitter.

Scientists say the region has been struck by an “earthquake swarm,” which is a series of earthquakes rather than the usual pattern of one dominant earthquake followed by aftershocks.

There have been nearly 1,000 earthquakes and aftershocks recorded on Puerto Rico since Dec. 31, according to the USGS. Since December, Puerto Rico has experienced more than 139 earthquakes of magnitudes greater than 3.0, including six that were greater than magnitude 5.0, the USGS said.

Over the next seven days, there is only a 3 percent chance of one or more aftershocks larger than magnitude 6.4, the USGS predicted Friday. There is, however, a high likelihood of aftershocks greater than magnitude 3.0, the USGS said.

Puerto Rico earthquakes: 950 earthquakes have hit the island so far this year. Why? Blame it on an ‘earthquake swarm’

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Magnitude 5.9 earthquake rocks Puerto Rico

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