Magnitude 5.9 shock rocks quake-stunned Puerto Rico

 

SAN JUAN, (AP) — A magnitude 5.9 quake shook Puerto Rico on Saturday, causing further damage along the island’s southern coast, where previous recent quakes have toppled homes and schools.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the 8:54 a.m. (1254 GMT) quake hit 8 miles (13 kilometers) southeast of Guanica at a shallow depth of 3 miles (5 kilometers).

Puerto Rico's Electric Power Authority said outages were reported across much of southern Puerto Rico and crews were assessing possible damage at power plants.

Bárbara Cruz, a prosecutor who was in the southern coastal city of Ponce when the new quake hit, said concrete debris hit the sidewalk as buildings continued to crumble.

“Everyone is out on the street,” she said.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

The quake, which initially had been calculated at magnitude 6.0, was the strongest shake yet since a magnitude 6.4 quake — the strongest to hit the island in a century — struck before dawn on Tuesday, knocking out power across Puerto Rico and leaving many without water. More than 2,000 people remain in shelters, many fearful of returning to their homes, and others unable to because of extensive damage.

Related: Magnitude 6.4 earthquake hits Southern California

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Magnitude 6.4 earthquake hits Southern California
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Magnitude 6.4 earthquake hits Southern California
People observe a mobile home in Ridgecrest, Calif. on Friday July 5, 2019. The home was knocked off its foundation in the Fourth of July earthquake. (James Quigg/The Daily Press via AP)
Visitors look over a crack on Highway 178 between Ridgecrest and Trona, Calif., on Friday July 5, 2019. The strongest earthquake in 20 years shook a large swath of Southern California and parts of Nevada on the July 4th holiday, rattling nerves and causing injuries and damage in a town near the epicenter, followed by a swarm of ongoing aftershocks. (James Quigg/The Daily Press via AP)
United States Geological Survey (USGS) equipment is set up near a split in the pavement on Highway 178 between Ridgecrest and Trona, Calif., on Friday July 5, 2019. The strongest earthquake in 20 years shook a large swath of Southern California and parts of Nevada on the July 4th holiday, rattling nerves and causing injuries and damage in a town near the epicenter, followed by a swarm of ongoing aftershocks. (James Quigg/The Daily Press via AP)
Traffic drives over a patched section of Highway 178 between Ridgecrest and Trona, Calif., on Friday, July 5, 2019. The strongest earthquake in 20 years shook a large swath of Southern California and parts of Nevada on the July 4th holiday, rattling nerves and causing injuries and damage in a town near the epicenter, followed by a swarm of ongoing aftershocks. The 6.4 magnitude quake struck Thursday in the Mojave Desert, about 150 miles northeast of Los Angeles, near the town of Ridgecrest. (James Quigg/The Daily Press via AP)
A child walks by one of the mobile homes knocked off its foundation by an earthquake in Ridgecrest, Calif., on Friday July 5, 2019. The strongest earthquake in 20 years shook a large swath of Southern California and parts of Nevada on the July 4th holiday, rattling nerves and causing injuries and damage in a town near the epicenter, followed by a swarm of ongoing aftershocks. The 6.4 magnitude quake struck Thursday morning in the Mojave Desert, about 150 miles northeast of Los Angeles, near the town of Ridgecrest. (James Quigg/The Daily Press via AP)
CALIFORNIA shaded relief map highlighted, with SACRAMENTO (capital) and earthquake locator, partial graphic
A damaged motorhome is seen red-taped after an earthquake, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Ridgecrest, Calif. The strongest earthquake in 20 years shook a large swath of Southern California and parts of Nevada on Thursday, rattling nerves on the July 4th holiday and causing injuries and damage in a town near the epicenter, followed by a swarm of ongoing aftershocks. The 6.4 magnitude quake struck at 10:33 a.m. in the Mojave Desert, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northeast of Los Angeles, near the town of Ridgecrest, Calif. (AP Photo/Matt Hartman)
Merchandise lies on the floor at a Family Dollar store seen through a window after an earthquake Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Trona, Calif. A strong earthquake rattled a large swath of Southern California and parts of Nevada on Thursday, rattling nerves on the July 4th holiday and causing some damage in a town near the epicenter, followed by a swarm of aftershocks. (AP Photo/Matt Hartman)
This photo shows damage on Highway 178 in Ridgecrest, Calif., following an earthquake in the area Thursday, July 4, 2019. The earthquake shook a large swath of Southern California and parts of Nevada on Thursday, rattling nerves on the July 4th holiday and causing some injuries and damage in the town near the epicenter, followed by a swarm of ongoing aftershocks. (AP Photo/Matt Hartman)
RIDGECREST, CA - JULY 05: On Friday morning Shalyn Pineda, regional supervisor of Kern Counties Libraries, at Ridgecrest Library help in picking up books knocked down by Thursday?s massive 6.4 earthquake that hit Ridgecrest. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
RIDGECREST, CALIFORNIA - JULY 04: A worker cleans up in a liquor store after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck the area and knocked over bottles in the store on July 4, 2019 near Ridgecrest, California. The earthquake was the largest to strike Southern California in 20 years with the epicenter located in a remote area of the Mojave Desert. The temblor was felt by residents across much of Southern California. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIDGECREST, CALIFORNIA - JULY 04: People walk near cracks in the road after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck the area on July 4, 2019 near Ridgecrest, California. The earthquake was the largest to strike Southern California in 20 years with the epicenter located in a remote area of the Mojave Desert. The temblor was felt by residents across much of Southern California. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
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Hundreds of quakes have shaken the island since the new year, though most were too slight to be felt.

NASA reported Friday that the quakes had moved the land in parts of southern Puerto Rico as much as 5.5 inches (14 centimeters), based on satellite images before and after the temblors.

Víctor Huérfano, director of Puerto Rico’s Seismic Network, told The Associated Press that he expects still more aftershocks as a result of the latest large one.

“It’s going to re-energize an unstable situation,” he said, adding that seismologists are studying which faults were activated. “It’s a complex zone.”

Hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans are still without power and water, and thousands are staying in shelters and sleeping on sidewalks since Tuesday’s earthquake. That temblor killed one person, injured nine others and damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes and several schools and businesses in the island’s southwest region.

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