A very shallow, M6.5 earthquake shook the entire island of Puerto Rico on January 7, 2020.
This the strongest quake in a flurry of more than 1200 tremors to strike the U.S. territory in recent days.
The shallow, 6.2-mile-deep quake struck at 8:24 a.m. (UTC) or 4:24 a.m local time, just south of the island. More than 340 felt reports have been submitted on the USGS homepage. Several aftershocks are still rumbling the islanders.
A tsunami alert was initially issued for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, but officials said there is no risk of tsunami. So, there are currently no tsunami warning, advisory, watch, or threat, and no deaths or injuries have been reported yet.
According to several tweets, most of the island is without electricity. Everyone is awake and shaken up.
Most of the island is without electricity after a strong quake was felt throughout.— Carlos A. Rodríguez (@CarlosHappyNPO) January 7, 2020
Everyone is awake.
Pray for Puerto Rico.
Was wrenched from sleep by an earthquake that is 6.6 on the Richter scale. Electricity is out all over Puerto Rico. Everybody is awake & scared all over. Communication networks immediately put to use to call each other and check on each other. #TemblorPR #PuertoRicoEarthquake— Beth Colón-Pizzini, M.A. 🇵🇷 (@BColPiz) January 7, 2020
This strong M6.5 earthquake follows a M5.8 quake that struck early Monday morning and during which five homes collapsed in Guanica. The monday’s quake also triggered small landslides and power outages, but not as widespread as today’s tremblor.
Do not underestimate the power of a “moderate earthquake” (M5.8 in this case). The shaking collapsed the upper arch of the window at Punta Ventana beach in southwestern Puerto Rico this morning. https://t.co/OZE5yerEjr— Brian Olson (@mrbrianolson) January 6, 2020
The head of Puerto Rico’s Emergency Management Agency, Carlos Acevedo, said Tuesday’s quake was the strongest since the first in a swarm jolted the island Dec. 28. Meanwhile, more than 1,200 earthquakes have been recorded in the region.
Although Puerto Rico sits in a seismically active area, a M6.5 earthquake a larger event for the region. A M7.7 earthquake hit on July 7, 1943. The M6.0 quake on September 24, 2019, was the largest earthquake to strike the U.S. territory in five years.