Jan 09, 2020 09:14 AM EST
Planning to sleep in a parking lot, Maria Quiñones Santiago was abruptly woken up on Tuesday morning and said her home in Guánica was crushed.
Many people that consist of roughly two-thirds of Puerto Rico still don’t have water and frightened residents were staying outside as a series of aftershocks rocked the island following the earthquake.
The quake was deemed as the most damaging of hundreds of temblors that have struck the island since December 28.
According to the Puerto Rico Seismic Network, there have been over 900 tremors there since December 28.
Punta Ventana was reported to have been destroyed by Monday’s earthquake. This is the earlier 5.8 magnitude earthquake that struck nearby on Monday, resulting in the collapse of Punta Ventana, a coastal rock formation and popular tourist destination.
This resulted in the collapse of Punta Ventana, a coastal rock formation and popular tourist destination.
With a man dead, dozens of homes and structures crumbled.
According to resident Samantha Cortez, “It was like a horrible noise, basically you’re like I don’t know like something exploded and then after that, just everything started shaking.” Between the shaking and everything breaking, she didn’t know what was worse.
The earthquake was centered off Puerto Rico’s southern coast, 6 miles south of Indios.
Thus, Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced declared a state of emergency in Puerto Rico and activated the Puerto Rico National Guard. The governor is urging people to remain calm but remains vigilant. You can replace property, but you can’t replace lives, she added.
The residents put mattresses in their front yards while others spent the night Tuesday under white tents and tarps.
Resident Noelia de Jesus has been sleeping at an outdoors shelter with her granddaughters, terrified of returning to her Guanica home.
As of now, Puerto Rico does not have an earthquake preparedness plan, two years since Hurricane Maria hit the US.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck at 4:24 a.m. near the city of Indios.
The 6.4 magnitude earthquake rattled the southwestern region of the island on Tuesday and knocked much of Agripina Seda Middle School, with its gleaming cream-and-blue walls, to the ground.
Neighbor Maribel Báez said her 14-year-old son was scared. He joked that he might not be studying anymore.
They are now not only without a school but also among the thousands of Puerto Ricans who are living out of their cars or under tents because they are too fearful of the structures where they live.
The natural disaster robbed Puerto Ricans of any belief that their leaders could manage another natural disaster.
Lenda Torres Rodríguez and some of her neighbors sought refuge on Tuesday in the auditorium. The windows made ominous cracking sounds with each aftershock.
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