Puerto Ricans stay away from buildings for fear of earthquake aftershocks’ destruction

South Florida residents in Puerto Rico struggle to come back home

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Seismologists reported 44 earthquakes have been recorded in Puerto Rico in the last 24 hours -- including a 4.9 magnitude quake.

The U.S. territory continues to experience strong aftershocks following a 6.4 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday. It was the strongest to hit the island in a century and forced hundreds like Juan Pizarro and his family out of their homes.

Pizarro, of Doral, was visiting family in Puerto Rico. He said he is having trouble finding a flight to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and will have to wait until next week to come back.

For now, he is among hundreds who are staying away from buildings and are sleeping outside.

“Everybody is like scared and waiting for the next big one pretty much,” said Pizarro minutes before he said the ground shook again.

The uncertainty fueled panic, as tensions run high in Puerto Rico. The island is still in a state of emergency. The hardest-hit areas look like war zones. A man was looking for his two dogs under his collapsed home.

Several minor injuries and one death have been reported. The series of earthquakes started being reported a couple days before the new year and this trend is expected to continue.

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