Video: Powerful Earthquake Rocks Puerto Rico, Thousands of homes destroyed.


A 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck Puerto Rico early Tuesday, killing at least one person and causing a power outage across the island, as well as structural damage to roads and bridges especially in the southwestern region.

There have been at least 51 aftershocks since the earthquake, the largest in a series of quakes, hit at 4:24 a.m. Federal agencies monitoring the seismic activity say the tremors and quakes could continue for the next few days, according to Gov. Wanda Vázquez.

At a press conference Tuesday morning, Vázquez announced the island is in an official state of emergency.

“We’ve never been exposed to this kind of emergency in 102 years,” she said in Spanish.

A collapsed home after an earthquake in Guanica, Puerto Rico, on Jan. 7, 2020.
A collapsed home after an earthquake in Guanica, Puerto Rico, on Jan. 7, 2020.Reuters TV

Government offices and schools were closed, and some hospitals, especially in the southwestern region, were evacuated for safety reasons. Residents, especially in the south, have been terrified to go into their homes for fear that another quake will bring the structures down.

“Every single one of you know how your homes were built. Don’t put yourselves at risk. Your homes can be replaced but we can’t replace your or your children’s lives,” Vázquez said.

She urged citizens to stay calm and asked public employees to stay home while authorities assess the damages. First responders, the governor said, were reporting to their usual areas.

“Citizen security is a priority, so vulnerable areas are being inspected and all necessary measures will be taken to ensure the safety of all Puerto Ricans,” Vásquez said.

Vázquez said on Tuesday morning that she had not received any communications from Trump as of 11 a.m.

On Tuesday afternoon, the White House said in a statement that the president has been briefed on the situation and “will continue to monitor the effects and coordinate with Puerto Rico officials.”

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