Miami firefighters deploy to Puerto Rico after 6.4 quake strikes
Puerto Ricans on edge after seismologists report more aftershocks possible
MIAMI – A highly-trained rescue task force in Miami departed to Puerto Rico on Tuesday night to help with the aftermath of the devastating 6.4-magnitude earthquake that turned some buildings into rubble.
Capt. Ignatius Carroll, a spokesman for the Miami Department of Fire-Rescue, said members of the Urban Search & Rescue South Florida Task Force departed from Miami International Airport.
Local 10 News spoke to some fleeing Puerto Ricans who arrived Tuesday night at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
“We are very happy to be here, but it’s mixed feelings, leaving our families behind, not knowing what’s going to happen next,” Lily Rodriguez said.
After declaring a state of emergency, Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vásquez activated the National Guard. About 300,000 people didn’t have running water and about 1,000 people evacuated their homes. Some planned to sleep outdoors.
The Punta Ventana, a famous seaside tourist landmark, was destroyed. Authorities said Agripina Seda, a three-story public school collapsed in Guánica, a seaside town in southern Puerto Rico, and Guayanilla, a nearby municipality, didn’t have power. Public schools in the area remain closed.
Seismologists are reporting the Caribbean and North American plates are moving in an unusual location. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there have been more than 950 quakes and aftershocks since Dec. 31 and there will be more aftershocks this next week.
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