A 5.8-magnitude quake hit Puerto Rico earlier than daybreak Monday, unleashing small landslides, inflicting energy outages and severely cracking some properties. It was one of many strongest quakes but to hit the U.S. territory that has been shaking for the previous week.
There have been no speedy stories of casualties.
The quake struck at 6:32 a.m. native time simply south of the island at a comparatively shallow depth of 10 kilometres, in response to the U.S. Geological Service. There was no tsunami menace, officers mentioned.
Energy outages have been reported in some elements of Puerto Rico following the quake, Angel Vazquez, emergency administration director for the southern coastal metropolis of Ponce, advised The Related Press.
“This is likely one of the strongest quakes up to now because it began shaking on Dec. 28,” he mentioned. “It lasted a very long time.”
Residents in southern coastal cities started posting photos of partially collapsed properties and enormous boulders blocking roads as officers urged individuals to stay calm.
‘I’ve by no means felt something like this’
Dr. Sindia Alvarado, who lives within the southern coastal city of Penuelas, mentioned she was petrified.
“My whole household awakened screaming,” she mentioned. “I although the home was going to crack in half.”
At a lodge within the southwest coastal city of Guanica, individuals panicked as they tried to flee of their vehicles, solely to appreciate that giant boulders have been obstructing the one freeway heading north to the capital of San Juan, lawyer Jose Francisco Benitez advised the AP.
“There was a state of panic,” he mentioned. “There have been even individuals of their underwear strolling across the lodge.”
He mentioned he and his girlfriend have been within the room when the quake struck.
“I’ve by no means felt something like this,” he mentioned. “It was like a large grabbed our room and shook it.”
The flurry of quakes in Puerto Rico’s southern area started the night time of Dec. 28, with quakes ranging in magnitude from 4.7 to five.1. Earlier quakes of lesser magnitudes in current days have cracked properties and led to items falling off grocery store cabinets.
Victor Huerfano, director of Puerto Rico’s Seismic Community, advised the AP that shallow quakes have been occurring alongside three faults in Puerto Rico’s southwest area: Lajas Valley, Montalva Level and the Guayanilla Canyon.
He mentioned the quakes total come because the North American plate and the Caribbean plate squeezes Puerto Rico, and that it was unclear once they would cease or if greater quakes would happen.
One of many largest and most damaging earthquakes to hit Puerto Rico occurred in October 1918, when a 7.3-magnitude quake struck close to the island’s northwest coast, unleashing a tsunami and killing 116 individuals.