Puerto Rico contains to shake today with the USGS reporting more than 30 earthquakes as of this afternoon; it is likely earthquakes will continue to shake the island for days and weeks to come. The strongest earthquake today, a 5.4, struck this morning off the island’s south coast.
According to Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vazquez Garced, the Puerto Rican Water and Sewage Authority has inspected three dams on the island and found no damage. “We emphasize the importance of remaining calm and urge everyone to always use a face covering when outside the home,” Vazquez said in a tweet in Spanish, pointing out ongoing concerns with the COVID-19 Pandemic above and beyond earthquake threats. Vazquez thanked FEMA officials and President Donald Trump, saying the island will “have all the resources it needs” in a tweet.
Puerto Rico suffered from a new earthquake swarm that began on December 28, 2019 with dozens of earthquakes hitting the area greater than 4.0 intensity. The island is still recovering from the devastating impacts Hurricane Maria made in 2017. A 6.4 earthquake struck in early January, the strongest of the year so far. USGS says today’s quake is likely an aftershock from that event.
The volume of earthquakes is actually pushing Puerto Rico closer to the United States mainland, albeit a very short distance at a time.
Earthquake activity is very busy in Puerto Rico. There have been at least 31 earthquakes in the last 24 hours, 184 in the last 7 days, and 775 in the last 30 days.