The Puerto Rico earthquake destroyed dozens of properties


An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.8 occurred today on the US island of Puerto Rico, causing disruptions of electricity and material damage, the US Geophysics Institute (USGS) announced, AFP reports.

The earthquake occurred at 06:32 local time (10:32 GMT) in Guayanilla, in the south of this Caribbean island, but the earthquake was felt in most of the territory, already devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, including in the capital of San Juan.

The earthquake has caused disruptions to the system that supplies electricity for about 250,000 customers.

The Puerto Rico earthquake destroyed dozens of properties 1

Puerto Rican Gov. Wanda Vázquez declared a state of emergency, activating the National Guard but ordering government employees, except for first responders, to stay home.

Vázquez said residents should make emergency preparations for more quakes in the next few days. The island is equipped with more than 70 days of regular gas, 70 days of premium gas and 130 days of diesel, she said.

A tsunami alert issued for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands was quickly canceled. The Electric Power Authority, PREPA, reported some damage to two power stations and said power plants automatically shut down to protect themselves, causing the island-wide power outage.

The Puerto Rico earthquake destroyed dozens of properties 2

José Ortiz, PREPA executive director, told El Nuevo Día the quakes damaged a power plant in Guayanilla in southwestern Puerto Rico, not far from the epicenter.

Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan was operating on generators, but all flights remained on schedule, Aerostar Puerto Rico CEO Jorge Hernández said.

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