GUAYANILLA, Puerto Rico – Miami firefighters from a specialized task force said there are many homes on the verge of collapse after a 5.2-magnitude earthquake hit on Friday afternoon, southwest of Indios, Puerto Rico, according to seismologists with the U.S. Geological Survey.
Indios is a neighborhood in the municipality of Guayanilla, which is still recovering after a deadly 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit on Tuesday. There were a series of aftershocks, include a 4.8-magnitude quake late Friday night, that are frightening Puerto Ricans.
“The concern is there’s still a lot of aftershocks occurring,” Miami Assistant Fire Chief Scott Dean said from Puerto Rico.
More than 1,100 earthquakes have shaken the island’s southwest coastal area since Dec. 28, according to the Puerto Rico Seismic Network. Although seismologists have reported that they don’t expect another strong earthquake, some Puerto Ricans fear “The big one” is yet to come.
The Tuesday quake caused a bathroom wall to fall on Nelson Martinez, 53, killing him. It also injured at least nine people and left thousands homeless.
President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency on Wednesday and Gov. Wanda Vázquez deployed the National Guard.
About 300,000 Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s customers remained without power. On Friday, Sen. Rick Scott toured the Costa Sur electric plant, which was damaged during the Tuesday quake.
“I will continue fighting to ensure that they have every resource they need to rebuild and recover,” Scott wrote on Twitter Friday night. “There is much to be done, but together we can accomplish anything!”
Puerto Ricans are still recovering from Hurricane Maria, a devastating Category 4 storm that hit 2017.
HOW TO HELP
- The American Red Cross chapter in Puerto Rico is accepting donations for disaster relief online.
- The Hispanic Federation has a disaster relief program aiming to reach 78 municipalities in Puerto Rico. The organization is accepting donations on its site.
- The World Central Kitchen is focusing on emergency food relief efforts. The organization is accepting donations on its site.
Clarification: The U.S. Geological Survey initially reported the earthquake’s magnitude was 5.4 and later 5.3. The final determination was a 5.2-magnitude quake.