Puerto Rico Earthquake

State of Emergency Declared in Puerto Rico after 6.4 Magnitude Earthquake

“I’ve never been so scared in my life,” Nelson Rivera, a resident of Ponce told the Associated Press after fleeing his home. ” I didn’t think we would get out. I said: ‘We’ll be buried here.’ “

I get so frightened for the people of Puerto Rico when any natural disaster hits the island. After I read and learned so much about the hits the island has taken financially and from natural disasters over the past few decades, I can only wonder how much more they can bear.

Related: How Can You Help Those in the Caribbean Devastated by Hurricanes Maria, Irma, and Harvey?

It feels like Puerto Rico is a part of America that is forgotten and treated as if it isn’t part of the United States. Many people in America don’t even know that it IS a part of the US. The people there still call 9-1-1 in emergencies, and when Americans visit, guess what, their cell phones still work as if they never left the mainland. So why is Puerto Rico not cared for in the same way as other states (not Louisiana – that was also a big fail on America’s part… oh, and not Flint, Michigan either)? You may see a pattern here that can help explain.

Watch this documentary by PBS/Frontline for some context…

Punta Ventana Before the Earthquake.

The natural rock archway, Punta Ventana, fell into the Caribbean sea on Monday after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake shook Puerto Rico.

After the collapse of Punta Ventana.

Today’s earthquake that damaged even more buildings and knocked out an electrical system that was never fully restored after Hurricane Maria, measured 6.4.

The island has been plagued with tremors and earthquakes for the past two weeks, and as of Tuesday, one man had died when the walls of his home collapsed on him. Many others have been injured by falling debris. The only comfort that the people of Puerto Rico have right at this moment is that the tsunami warning that was issued on Tuesday after the 6.4 earthquake, was canceled.

John Geiger, a geophysicist with the USGS explained to NPR, “The past several weeks we’ve had hundreds of small earthquakes in the same region. It began on Dec. 28, when we had a 4.7-magnitude [earthquake] there. Since the 4.7, we’ve had over 400 magnitude 2+ earthquakes.”

So what can we do? If you watched the film above and read about the fraud and corruption that happened with not only government agencies, but contractors and those claiming to contribute to relief efforts, you know that the scammers come out in full force after tragedies such as this one.

Here are three suggestions.

  1. Use social media to reach out to those that you know with family in Puerto Rico, and find out who they trust to deliver aid and supplies.
  2. If you have family or friends in the area affected by the earthquake, contact them and find out if they need a place to stay in a safer area of the island or in another area in the region until they can recover.
  3. One call, text or WhatsApp message probably won’t do it. Electricity is hard to come by, so keep trying to reach people and find out how you can help. Find out who you can help personally. Hopefully, they will share the help you give them with others in need.

Do you have ideas or know of reputable relief agencies that we can contact to help the families in Puerto Rico? Please share in the comments.

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9 months ago

This is horrible. Tragedy keeps recurring and I am horrified for the citizens

Nanekia Ansari
9 months ago

Agreed! Puerto Rico is treated like the child of the mistress. I never understood why we don’t actively acknowledge, help and support them. Thank you for bringing awareness.

9 months ago

This is so heartbreaking. I feel terrible for not keeping up with the news as I just found out about this. So devastating.

Joyce Brewer
9 months ago

You’re absolutely correct. Most Americans forget about PR, which leads to even more ignorance from folks like 45.

9 months ago

Wow! With everything that has been going on lately, I didn’t even hear about this. These poor folk have been going through so much lately.

Mimi Robinson
9 months ago

Like you I always feel bad for Puerto Rico. They never quite bounced back and then natural disasters continue to happen. I went for the first time in 2011, we spent out Baby Moon in Puerto Rico. We were there for five days and had a beautiful time. It is still on our list of places to go visit.

9 months ago

This is scary! I was supposed to book a trip to PR for Feb and I’m glad we didn’t!