Puerto Rico: Earthquakes

Roza Chowdhury, Reporter

Puerto Rico is a place where earthquakes are considered a ‘daily’ occurrence. Every year there are many incidents that leave people helpless on that island, with earthquakes being one of the major ones. As of 2018, roughly 4000 were recorded. Furthermore, since December 28th multiple earthquakes have occurred. These may be because Puerto Rico is located between two tectonic plates: the North American plate and the Caribbean plate.

Previously, Puerto Rico was shaken with a magnitude of 5.9 earthquakes causing a landslide in the southern municipality of Peñuelas. “The quake struck 8 miles southeast of Guanica at a shallow depth of 3 miles,” according to the U.S. Geological Survey. In addition, USA Today reported that the most recent quakes and aftershocks have left thousands without water and power. Governor Wanda Vázquez, at her press conference, said her administration was immediately releasing 2 to 6 million to the most affected municipalities, and the government was putting price freezes on various food products and necessities. At least 539 buildings were damaged, amounting to losses of $110 million. It is said that there were no immediate reports of injuries. However, “In the nearby 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 people are now homeless, without food or money. Many are panicking and wanting to leave Puerto Rico. While it is said that help is being provided, that help may not be enough to fix the damages and fear that these quakes have caused.