State of emergency declared in Puerto Rico following 6.4 magnitude earthquake
Philly Boricuas, a local grassroots organization, is holding an emergency meeting tonight at Providence Center in Fairhill, Philadelphia, to discuss relief efforts.
On Tuesday morning, at 4:24 a.m. local time, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck Puerto Rico’s southwestern coast, near the municipalities of Guanica and Ponce. Collapsed buildings and widespread blackouts on the island have been reported.
According to The New York Times, Nelson Martínez Guillen, 73, died as the walls of his home in the city of Ponce collapsed on him. At least nine other people have been reported injured.
Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vásquez declared a state of emergency on Tuesday morning, which activates Puerto Rico’s National Guard. Vásquez said that $130 million in emergency relief aid will be available.
La gobernadora Wanda Vázquez ofrece información sobre los terremotos en Puerto Rico https://t.co/qTWWmt4YNN
— El Nuevo Día (@ElNuevoDia) January 7, 2020
According to CNN, Vásquez also reported that 300,000 people are without water, and so far 255 people in the southern part of the island, hardest hit by the quake, have sought refuge at shelters.
The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) is working to repair damage to the electrical grid to restore power, with reports of blackouts throughout the island and significant damage to the Central Costa Sur power plant in the south of the island.
El Nuevo Día reported that despite the blackouts, all of the island’s hospitals are operating normally and have power.
There is currently no tsunami warning in effect for any parts of the island, according to the US National Tsunami Warning Center. But the Puerto Rico Seismic Network has warned that the island should be on guard for aftershocks and additional seismic activity.
In Philadelphia, local grassroots organization Philly Boricuas has called for an emergency open community meeting at the Providence Center, 2557 N. 5th St., at 6 p.m. on Tuesday to discuss relief efforts and coordinate action to support those on the island. And according to this guide published by The Philadelphia Inquirer, these are the groups worth donating to in order to support Puerto Ricans in the aftermath of the earthquake.
The quake on Tuesday was the latest and strongest in a series of temblors that have struck the island since Dec. 28, including a 5.8 magnitude earthquake on Monday which caused the island’s natural wonder, Punta Ventana, to collapse.