An earthquake measuring 5.8 points occurred in Puerto Rico on Monday, January 6, triggering small landslides, interruptions in the supply of electricity and severe cracks in some houses. This writes CBS News.
There were no reports of casualties, but caused considerable damage to the city of Guanica.
The earthquake was followed by a series of smaller aftershocks, including another earthquake by force of 5 points, which occurred later in the day.
According to USGS, the first quake occurred at 6:32 South of the Islands at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometers. According to authorities, the tsunami threat was not.
“In some areas of Puerto Rico after the earthquake there was a power outage, — said the Director of emergency situations southern coastal city of Ponce, angel Vasquez. Is one of the strongest earthquakes to date, since, as the tremors began on 28 December”.
Few who decided to return to their homes, but 54-year-old Jose quinonez had no choice. His 80-year-old mother had a heart problem, and she was lying in bed.
Dozens of people in the area called hope in the South-West of the city of Guanica were on the street trying to calm the children who were forced to open their gifts on Three Kings Day, a religious holiday, the streets and sidewalks.
“This is hell,’ said 43-year-old Alberto Rodriguez, the man collapsed building. — We haven’t slept in … Guanica no longer a safe place.”
Less than a quarter of Sylvester Alice visited her house which collapsed on expensive bright blue “Toyota Corolla” in 1977.
When the house collapsed, he managed to jump from the balcony.
Alice lived in new York for many years until two years ago, he went to Guanica to live in the house where he spent 15 years, but he doesn’t have insurance.
People try to stay away from the houses, columns and foundations which are badly cracked.
Hotel in the South-Western coastal town of Guanica people panicked and tried to escape from the earthquake on their machines, but large boulders blocked the only highway leading North to the capital of San Juan.
“Was a real panic, — eyewitnesses speak. — Around the hotel, even people ran in their underwear”.
Some people like 69 year-old noelia de Jesus and her husband, who is wheelchair-bound, did not know where they will spend the night. Rescuers who examined the house said that it is unsafe, and advised them to stay elsewhere.
“Everything is broken, including the TV, the woman said. That’s horrible.”
In Puerto Rico there is no public warning system for earthquakes, except for the siren, which should inform the population about the tsunami. Residents of the area criticized the government for inaction.
Dr. Scindia Alvarado, who lives in the southern coastal town of Penuelas, cannot recover.
“My whole family woke up, she said. I thought that the house was split down the middle”.
A flurry of earthquakes in the southern region of Puerto Rico began in the night of 28 December, the earthquake had a force of from 4.7 to 5.1.
Victor Huerfano, Director of the Seismic network of Puerto Rico, said that small earthquakes occur on three faults in the southwestern region of Puerto Rico: Lajas valley, Cape montalva and canyon Guanella. He believes that earthquakes generally occur due to the fact that the North American plate and the Caribbean plate is compressed in Puerto Rico. It is almost impossible to determine when earthquakes will stop or become even stronger.
One of the largest and destructive earthquake in Puerto Rico occurred in October 1918, when near the North-Western coast of the island, an earthquake by force 7,3 points, which caused a tsunami and claimed the lives of 116 people.