Massive Earthquake Knocks Out Puerto Rico’s Electric Grid Again

Puerto Rico lost power again this week due to an earthquake.

Puerto Rico is facing an island-wide blackout again, this time due to an earthquake, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said Tuesday. The agency reported that an earthquake of 6.4 magnitude struck the island between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m., and that it comes on the coattails of a 5.8-magnitude earthquake that already hit the island Monday and caused power outages to all of the island’s southern areas.

“The magnitude 6.4 earthquake was widely felt,” states a USGS press release, which adds that “strong to very strong shaking occurred across parts of Southern Puerto Rico closest to the event and moderate shaking occurred across the rest of the island.”

More aftershocks may continue in days to come, the agency warned.

This power outage took place two years after Hurricane Maria, which caused months of power outages across the island. Some areas continue to cope with damage caused by this hurricane.

Eight homes in the municipality of Yauco were destroyed, and the town of Guanica suffered mild damage. Several power plants across the island also incurred damage, but the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority said that it plans to have power restored by this afternoon.

Puerto Rico is at risk of earthquakes as it is squeezed between two large tectonic plates–the North America and Caribbean plates–according to USGS. The agency reported that hundreds of small earthquakes had taken place within the region, leading up to the major Tuesday earthquake.

The island has not had an earthquake with a magnitude topping 6 in more than 40 years, however, since a 6.1-magnitude earthquake that hit the island in 1970. This earthquake is also the second-worst in the island’s history: The record goes to a 7.7 quake in 1943.

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