Sunday, July 21, 2024

6.4 magnitude earthquake hits Puerto Rico amid heavy seismic activity in the island

A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck Puerto Rico in the early hours of Tuesday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vazquez signed an executive order today declaring a state of emergency throughout the island as well as an order that activated the National Guard. The quake hit close to the town of Tallaboa on the island’s south coast at 4:24 a.m. local time, at least one person is known to have died in the quake.

The Associated Press reported that the victim was killed when a wall collapsed on him at his home. Eight people are were also injured in the city of Ponce, near the epicenter of the quake.

The Electric Power Authority reported an island-wide power outage, saying on Twitter that power plants had activated their protection mechanisms and gone out of service. Authorities said damage had been reported at the Costa Sur power station, and they were evaluating the power infrastructure and urged residents to remain calm.

Vázquez also announced on Twitter that public sector institutions would be closed for the day so workers “can be with their families, implementing their emergency plans.” In addition to the magnitude 6.5 quake, at least seven other earthquakes were recorded by the USGS as striking Puerto Rico in the early hours of Tuesday. Some of the subsequent quakes measured up to magnitude 5.6.

The quake comes one day after a 5.8 quake hit the U.S. territory’s southern region, which has seen a string of quakes in recent days. Yesterday’s earthquake collapsed five homes and damaged many other buildings and also caused rockslides and power outages, according to the Associated Press.