Tragedy strikes Puerto Rico again

Right before 9 a.m. on January 11, an earthquake of magnitude 5.9 rocked Puerto Rico’s southwestern coast. This wasn’t the first earthquake that has devastated the island in recent months. Unfortunately, it most likely will not be the last to come in the next couple of weeks. 

On January 6th, the region was rattled by a 5.8 quake. 24 hours later, Puerto Rico was hit with a 6.4 magnitude earthquake. 

The island is no stranger to earthquakes. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there have been 123 earthquakes over a magnitude of three since December of last year.

The community is still recovering from not only the recent earthquakes but also from the effects of hurricane Irma and Maria. On top of the devastation from the hurricanes, the community is dealing with landslides, broken power lines, dilapidated homes, schools and even the destruction of the popular tourist destination of Punta Ventana. 

Understandably, the people of Puerto Rico are devastated and afraid as a result of the earthquakes. In addition to this, the aftershock is prevalent in the region. Communities are feeling the rough aftershocks from the quakes. 

So, why is Puerto Rico so abundant in earthquakes? Well, the answer lies below. Puerto Rico is located on the edge of the Caribbean Tectonic plate which collides with the North American plate. The North American plate goes under the Caribbean plate in a subduction zone. At the same time, the Caribbean plate subducts at Muertos trough. This results in Puerto Rico being pushed in between, causing many earthquakes. 

Because of all these factors, more earthquakes are estimated to occur. The U.S. Geological Survey even says that there is a 70% chance of another five-point magnitude earthquake occurring a week after January 11th. 

Considering there is a high chance of Puerto Rico experiencing many more earthquakes, authorities advise the community to stay up to date with recent earthquake information and to stay away from powerlines, trees or anything that could fall over. The best way to stay safe during earthquakes is to avoid collapsible objects.