Puerto Rico continues to be afflicted with severe earthquakes

Andrew Hezel, Staff Writer

The 5.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Puerto Rico January 16 was just one of the many earthquakes that have struck the Caribbean nation. These earthquakes have caused power outages and other destructive behaviors already throughout the recent months. Since December of 2019, Puerto Rico has had no less than 300 earthquakes greater than a 3.0 magnitude, the most powerful of which was a 6.4 mainshock January 6. January 11, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake shook Puerto Rico. There were 18 aftershocks with a magnitude 3.0 or higher midday January 14 and midday January 15.

 “USGS estimates more than a 99 percent chance of magnitude 3 or greater aftershocks, a 54 percent chance of a magnitude 5 or greater aftershock, and an 8 percent chance of a magnitude 6 or greater aftershock in the next seven days. The most likely scenario is that the aftershocks will become less frequent over time, with no earthquake larger than a magnitude 6. Less likely is an earthquake of similar size to the magnitude 6.4 quake, which would temporarily increase the rate of aftershocks.” said USGS, a program that supports earthquake recovery. 

The most recent earthquake occurred February 4. A 5.0 magnitude quake shook Puerto Rico from the inside out. The country didn’t seem ready for such an event, similar to when Hurricane Maria swept through more than two years ago. The United States donated billions of dollars to Puerto Rico to get them back on their feet after Maria. Still waiting for that money to be returned, the White House is suggesting to veto the 4.7 billion dollar donation for the earthquakes that they were planning on giving to the Puerto Ricans. 

“The White House issued a veto threat Wednesday over a $4.7 billion emergency aid package intended to help Puerto Rico recover from a series of damaging earthquakes.” said  The Washington Post.

Puerto Rico has had to face many tragedies in the past few years, and the continuation of these earthquakes is not helping to quicken their recovery.