Puerto Rico earthquake worst in more than 100 years

“The people of Puerto Rico are foremost in our minds."

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Image Credit: NBC News

Tuesday’s quake left at least one person dead and caused dozens of homes and structures to crumble as most of the island remains powerless. Puerto Rico, which has been experiencing a series of quakes since December 28, is in a state of emergency as the people on the island prepare for aftershocks.

The 6.4 quake took place in the early morning with an epicenter about 6 miles from Indios, a town of a couple thousand people, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. As aftershocks continue to shake the island, including a magnitude 5.6 temblor, it is likely to be the island’s worst earthquake in more than a century.

“We have responded to many difficult situations, and here we are once again … helping our people move forward,” Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced said.

The 1918 earthquake, which caused a tsunami, resulted in 116 deaths. It caused an economic loss of $4 million, which according to the Puerto Rico Seismic Network, equals to $73.4 million in “buying power” today, CNN reported. Tuesday’s quake could see economic losses greater than $100 million the USGS estimated.

More than 400,000 of Puerto Rico’s 3.1 million people probably felt strong or very strong shaking from Tuesday’s quake, the USGS estimated, while the rest of the island probably felt little to no shaking.

“The people of Puerto Rico are foremost in our minds,” Michael Brune, Sierra Club executive director, said. “The loss and destruction is heartbreaking. The island has been through so much already. Sierra Club is here for Puerto Ricans; we urge the federal government to show up as needed as well.”

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