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5.9 Temblor Hits Quake-Stunned Puerto Rico

Island suffers even further damage
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 11, 2020 10:00 AM CST
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People get up after spending the night in a baseball stadium amid aftershocks and without electricity after the 6.4 magnitude earthquake in Guayanilla, Puerto Rico, at sunrise Friday, Jan. 10, 2020.   (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)
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(Newser) – A magnitude 5.9 quake shook Puerto Rico on Saturday, causing further damage along the island’s southern coast, where previous recent quakes have toppled homes and schools, the AP reports. The US Geological Survey said the 8:54am quake hit 8 miles southeast of Guanica at a shallow depth of 3 miles. Puerto Rico's Electric Power Authority said outages were reported across much of southern Puerto Rico and crews were assessing possible damage at power plants. Bárbara Cruz, a prosecutor who was in the southern coastal city of Ponce when the new quake hit, said concrete debris hit the sidewalk as buildings continued to crumble. "Everyone is out on the street," she said. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

The quake, which initially had been calculated at magnitude 6.0, was the strongest shake yet since a magnitude 6.4 quake—the strongest to hit the island in a century—struck before dawn on Tuesday, knocking out power across Puerto Rico and leaving many without water. More than 2,000 people remain in shelters, many fearful of returning to their homes, and others unable to because of extensive damage. Hundreds of quakes have shaken the island since the new year, though most were too slight to be felt. Quake expert Víctor Huérfano says he expects still more aftershocks as a result of the latest large one" "It's going to re-energize an unstable situation," he said, adding that seismologists are studying which faults were activated. "It's a complex zone."

(Read more Puerto Rico stories.)

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