BREAKING NEWS: Puerto Rico Suffers from Severe Earthquakes

Kate Stuzin, Copy Editor

Rattled residents of Puerto Rico already on edge after the  deadly 6.4 magnitude earthquake on the Richter Scale that occurred earlier this month, faced another earthquake on Wednesday, registering a magnitude of 5.2. According to the United States Geological Survey, more than 1,280 earthquakes have hit Puerto Rico’s southern region since Dec. 28, with more than 20 of them magnitude 4.5 or greater.

Basically, the Richter scale measures earthquakes on a logarithmic scale, meaning that the numbers on the scale measure factors of 10 and ranges from 1-10. This means that an earthquake that measures 4.0 on the Richter scale is 10 times as powerful as an earthquake that measures 3.0.

Seismologists working with USGS do not know much about the faults causing the earthquakes, but they believe aftershocks will continue to decrease in frequency over the next 30 days.

Also on Wednesday, the Trump administration ended its month-long hold of more than $8 billion in disaster aid relief Congress appointed for Puerto Rico, a senior Department of Housing and Urban Development official confirmed. 

In the last two years, Puerto Ricans have felt the effects of multiple disasters, beginning with Hurricane Maria in 2017 and followed by a political corruption crisis last year involving the arrests of top government officials. 

According to the humanitarian group Direct Relief, this month’s earthquakes left more than 5,000 people homeless and have further exacerbated infrastructure problems that were never resolved after Maria. The series of earthquakes have only amplified fears that structures are further weakened.

The Costa Sur Plant, which produces more than 40% of Puerto Rico’s electricity, was badly damaged in last week’s quake and remains offline indefinitely. Despite all this, Puerto Rico’s public utility, Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, tweeted last Monday that 99% of their customers have their electricity back.

Currently, about 170 Red Cross workers have  provided care and distributed emergency supplies, including hygiene kids, medical equipment and comfort items. Schools will remain closed until Jan. 22 or until engineers finish inspections. 

To get involved, text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation or send supply donations to the Salvation Army. Please send in the following:

  • Gauze and Tape
  • Adhesive/Non-Adhesive Bandages
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Wipes
  • Eye and Ear Drops
  • Bug Spray
  • 3 in 1 Shampoo
  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste
  • Feminone Hygiene Products
  • Pre-Made Baby Formula
  • Diapers