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11 Jan 2020 | 09:02 AM UTC

US: 5.9-magnitude earthquake reported in Puerto Rico January 11 /update 5

5.9-magnitude earthquake reported in Puerto Rico on January 11 amid ongoing power outages; aftershocks likely to continue



The US Geological Survey recorded a 5.9-magnitude earthquake near Guanica on Saturday, January 11, at a depth of 5 km (3 mi). The earthquake occurred at 08:54 (local time) at 13 km (8 mi) southeast of the city. Infrastructure damage has been reported and power outages are ongoing as a series of quakes continue to rattle the island. No tsunami warning was issued. Aftershocks are likely to continue over the coming hours and days.

According to Puerto Rico's Electric Power Authority (AEE), electrical service is not expected to be restored until Saturday or Sunday, January 12. The executive director of AEE announced on Wednesday, January 8, that the earthquakes caused damage to some electrical facilities that need to be fixed before service can resume.

Power and commercial disruptions are expected in the coming hours and days. Further aftershocks are likely to continue over the near term.


Several aftershocks ranging in magnitudes of 2.0 to 6.5 struck off the southern coast of Puerto Rico following an initial 5.7-magnitude earthquake on January 6. On January 7, Puerto Rico's Governor Wanda Vázquez declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard. Recovery efforts are ongoing across the island following significant infrastructural damage.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) recorded a 5.7-magnitude earthquake around 13 km (8 mi) south-southwest of Indios (Guayanilla) on January 6 at a depth of 10 km (6.2 mi). On Tuesday, the USGS recorded a 6.4-magnitude earthquake on the island's southern coast at a depth of 10 km (6.2 mi). This is the islands largest recorded earthquake since a 7.3-magnitude quake and accompanying tsunami struck Puerto Rico in 1918, killing 116 people. 


Individuals in Puerto Rico are advised to monitor the situation, keep battery operated devices charged whenever possible, obey all instructions issued by the local authorities, and prepare for potential aftershocks.

In the event of aftershocks, individuals are advised to protect themselves as much as possible from falling debris if indoors (e.g. under a table), move away from the windows, and not attempt to leave a building unless there is an immediate danger. If outdoors, move away from tall buildings, utility wires, and streetlights.