Dozens of earthquakes have rattled Puerto Rico in recent days, but fortunately none have been strong enough to create a local or regional tsunami in the Atlantic or the Caribbean Sea. According to USGS, 71 4 earthquakes struck in the last week, 15 of which hit in the last 24 hours. The most recent, a magnitude 3.6 earthquake, which struck near Liborio Negron Torres, hit at 1:41 pm this afternoon. The activity, including the latest and strongest of the series, remains too weak to create a tsunami and as such, there’s no threat of tsunami at this time to Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, or the U.S. East Coast.
While several of these earthquakes have been felt by locals, there has been no earthquake damage nor injuries reported. USGS continues to track and measure earthquakes in the region. Also observing the earthquake activity is the National Weather Service’s Tsunami Warning Center, which hasn’t issued any tsunami advisory on any earthquake around Puerto Rico recently.
Most of today’s earthquakes aren’t far from the epicenter of a strong earthquake that hit in January 2020. That 6.4 created extensive damage in Puerto Rico, including widespread power failures across much of the island. An earthquake swarm started here in December 2019 and unrest has continued since. Thirty five earthquakes have hit in the last 7 days in and near the January 2020 epicenter area.
These earthquakes are occurring near the northern edge of the Caribbean Plate, a mostly oceanic tectonic plate underlying Central America and the Caribbean Sea off of the north coast of South America. The Caribbean Plate borders the North American Plate, the South American Plate, the Nazca Plate, and the Cocos Plate. The borders of these plates are home to ongoing seismic activity, including frequent earthquakes, occasional tsunamis, and sometimes even volcanic eruptions.