A series of earthquakes have impacted Puerto Rico and the ocean waters around the U.S. Virgin Islands today; however, due to the intensity and movement associated with each earthquake, there is no threat of tsunami at this time to the Caribbean, the Bahamas, or the U.S. East Coast.
Most of today’s earthquakes struck along the south coast of Puerto Rico where a strong earthquake hit in 2020. These earthquakes are likely continued aftershocks from that strong earthquake that struck the island 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.
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.
The strongest earthquake in the last 24 hours was a 4.4 which struck 100 miles northeast of Cruz Bay on the U.S. Virgin Islands. That earthquake, which struck at 8:09 am ET this morning, had a depth of about 28 miles.