Puerto Rico Struck by Earthquakes

A Puerto Rican flag waves on top of a pile of rubble as debris is removed from a main road in Guánica. Ricardo Arduengo /AFP via Getty Images

Madison Lewis, Staff Writer, Staff Writer

Parts of Puerto Rico have been devastated by the 950 earthquakes (and counting) that have rattled the island since late December 2019. 

Currently, high magnitude earthquakes are shaking Puerto Rico and many have been strong enough to reach, and be felt in the capital of San Juan. An aftershock off the coast of Guanica scaled at 6.4; this resulted in a widespread blackout affecting more than 1 million people on the island. This is the strongest earthquake to strike Puerto Rico since 1918. Damage has been so severe on areas of the island that it can be observed from space. Cities located West of Ponce show the greatest amount of displacement, according to NASA officials. 

The unpredictable quakes have residents afraid to sleep inside their homes, fearful of roofs collapsing during the night. Thousands of homes have crumbled in towns like Guayanilla, Guanica and Ponce. 

Looking forward, federal funding has been set aside to help these areas recover and flourish again. An estimated $260 million has been authorized and approved by the board to go toward the earthquakes damaged areas of Puerto Rico. After almost three years Puerto Rico is still rebuilding after Hurricane Maria, the ongoing earthquakes certainly are not helping the recovery effort done by the hurricane. Puerto Rico is strong and the Puerto Rican people are determined to make the best out of every situation, the earthquakes are no exception. 

Although parts of the island still need assistance, many tourist destinations are bustling with activity. As the aftershocks seem to be slowing down, we can support Puerto Rico by continuing to travel there. Not only will you experience a tropical vacation, but you will be supporting the local economy at the same time.