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Puerto Ricans deal with power outages after strong earthquake

Authorities warn aftershocks to continue after 5.8 magnitude earthquake

AIBONITO, Puerto Rico – A 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit on Monday offshore of southwest Puerto Rico leaving thousands without power, damaging some homes and crushing cars.

Earthquakes -- ranging in magnitude from 4.7 to 5.1 -- have been shaking the island’s southern region since Dec. 28.

Strong earthquakes strike Puerto Rico within hours
Strong earthquakes strike Puerto Rico within hours

According to scientists, the North American plate and the Caribbean plate are squeezing Puerto Rico, and the three faults are in the Lajas Valley, Montalva Point and the Guayanilla Canyon offshore.

Video: Puerto Rico earthquake
Video: Puerto Rico earthquake

After the strong earthquake hit about 6:30 a.m., a 4.9 magnitude earthquake followed about 10:50 a.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Scientists expect more aftershocks.

“I’ve spent 29 years with Puerto Rico’s Seismic Network, and it’s the first time I observe this kind of activity,” director Víctor Huérfano told the Associated Press. “There’s no way to predict when it’s going to end, or if it’s going to lead to a major event.”

The island’s fragile electrical grid has been unreliable since hurricanes Maria and Irma hit in 2017.


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