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Published On: Tue, Jan 7th, 2020

Puerto Rico blacked out after a 6.5 magnitude earthquake

A 6.5 magnitude earthquake was registered off the coast of Puerto Rico on Tuesday, which reportedly caused an island-wide blackout. There was no immediate report of injuries or damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake hit just south of the island at a shallow depth of roughly 6 miles. A tsunami warning was not issued.

Jose Ortiz, The CEO of the Electric Power Authority in Puerto Rico confirmed there’s damage to the Central Costa Sur power plant in the southern part of the island, but they do expect the system to resume operations later today.

Ortiz said all of their power plants had gone offline due to a self-protective feature that had been activated following the earthquake.

The Governor of Puerto Rico, Wanda Vázquez Garced asked residents to remain calm and safe as they receive updates from local emergency departments.

A 5.8 magnitude quake struck before dawn on Monday.

The earlier quake caused damage to the coastal town of Guanica. It also destroyed the famous Punta Ventana stone arch, an iconic landmark described as a “natural wonder.”

Victor Huerfano, director of Puerto Rico’s Seismic Network, told the AP that shallow quakes were occurring along three faults in Puerto Rico’s southwest region: Lajas Valley, Montalva Point and the Guayanilla Canyon.

He said the quakes overall come as the North American plate and the Caribbean plate squeeze Puerto Rico.

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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