The governor of Puerto Rico, Wanda Vázquez, has declared a state of emergency for the island after the devastating 6.4 magnitude earthquake made an impact on January 7, 2020. Since last December 28, more than 1,000 earthquakes have been reported and at least 60 of those have been felt by residents, leaving most without electricity or running water.
Statues have fallen, homes and churches have collapsed, and historical landmarks have disappeared from the face of the Earth. The earthquakes have caused havoc amongst Puerto Ricans as they are left with yet another natural disaster that outweighs their continual efforts to recover and move forward. Residents of the southwest region of Puerto Rico have spent the latter part of the first week of the year sleeping outside because they fear that their homes will unexpectedly collapse.
The truth is, the local government does not have a secure disaster plan in place to handle earthquakes and people are left to bear the aftershock of the tremors.
In addition, most public schools have collapsed, and parents are beginning to question whether they feel safe sending their children back to school, knowing that the infrastructure is not apt to withstand earthquakes.
The aftermath of Hurricane Maria was less traumatizing than the last several days because, with hurricanes, people have time to prepare, find shelter, and brace for impact. Not only is the island not equipped to handle earthquakes, but they also do not have the ability to anticipate the severity of them. Currently, there are several local organizations that are volunteering to bring essential necessities such as non-perishable foods, bottled water, pillows, blankets, and other vital resources. Although it is certain that the earthquakes will continue to happen throughout the next couple of weeks, no one can know for sure how devastating they will be.
According to UPSeis, here are some useful tips to follow during an earthquake: