Skip to main content
24 Jan 2020 | 07:44 AM UTC

US: Violence reported in San Juan (Puerto Rico) amid anti-government protests January 23 /update 9

Police in San Juan (Puerto Rico) use tear gas in anti-government protests on January 23; additional protests likely

environment
transportation
PRI

Event

Police in San Juan (Puerto Rico) used tear gas to disperse protests on Thursday, January 23, amid anti-government protests. Despite this, protesters continued their march towards La Fortaleza. Protesters sought to denounce Governor Wanda Vazquez for the mismanagement of the earthquake crisis that recently hit the island.

Protests in San Juan will likely continue in the coming days, though a formal call has not yet been issued.

Context

The US Geological Survey (USGS) recorded a 5.7-magnitude earthquake around 13 km (8 mi) south-southwest of Indios (Guayanilla) on January 6. On January 7, the USGS recorded a 6.4-magnitude earthquake on the island's southern coast. This is the islands largest recorded earthquake since a 7.3-magnitude quake and accompanying tsunami struck Puerto Rico in 1918, killing 116 people. Several aftershocks ranging in magnitudes of 2.0 to 6.5 struck off the southern coast of Puerto Rico over the following days. Puerto Rico's Governor Wanda Vázquez declared a state of emergency on January 7 and activated the National Guard. Recovery efforts are ongoing across the island following significant infrastructural damage.

Advice

Individuals in San Juan, and Puerto Rico more generally, are advised to avoid all protests as a precaution, monitor the situation, allow ample travel time, and obey instructions issued by local authorities.