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Puerto Rico starts to restore electricity after magnitude 6.4 earthquake

58 years-old Maribel Rivera Silva rests outside a shelter afraid of aftershocks, after an earthquake in Guanica, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. A 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck Puerto Rico before dawn on Tuesday, killing one man, injuring others and collapsing buildings in the southern part of the island. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)
58 years-old Maribel Rivera Silva rests outside a shelter afraid of aftershocks, after an earthquake in Guanica, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. A 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck Puerto Rico before dawn on Tuesday, killing one man, injuring others and collapsing buildings in the southern part of the island. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

GUANICA, Puerto Rico – Puerto Rico’s electrical grid is slowly going back in service on Wednesday, after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake forced shutdowns in the southern region leaving more than two-thirds of the island without power.

According to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, which serves about 1.5 million customers, service was restored to about half a million customers. Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vazquez traveled to the Costa Sur Power Plant Complex in the coastal municipality of Guayanilla to inspect the damage.

In the coastal town of Guánica, “We are confronting a crisis worse than Hurricane Maria,” Mayor Santos Seda told the Associated Press, while referring to the 2017 storm that devastated the island. “I am asking for empathy from the federal government.”

The earthquake left at least one person dead and nine injured. Vazquez activated the National Guard and closed public schools during the search and rescue phase. Members of USAR South Florida Task Force 2 left Miami International Airport on Tuesday night to join the efforts in Puerto Rico.

Neighbors gather outside a shelter afraid of aftershocks after an earthquake in Guanica, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. A 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck Puerto Rico before dawn on Tuesday, killing one man, injuring others and collapsing buildings in the southern part of the island. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)
Neighbors gather outside a shelter afraid of aftershocks after an earthquake in Guanica, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. A 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck Puerto Rico before dawn on Tuesday, killing one man, injuring others and collapsing buildings in the southern part of the island. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

According to the U.S. Geological Service, there have been 32 earthquakes of magnitude 4 or greater since Dec. 28, including the 5.8 magnitude earthquake on Jan. 6 and the strong quake and aftershocks on Tuesday. Seismologists estimate that over the next week there is a low chance of more aftershocks that are stronger than Tuesday’s quake.


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