New­est tem­blor rocks a shaken Puerto Rico

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - NATION & WORLD - By Danica Coto

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A mag­ni­tude 5.9 quake shook Puerto Rico on Satur­day, caus­ing mil­lions of dol­lars of 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. quake hit 8 miles south­east of Guanica at a shal­low depth of 3 miles. It was fol­lowed by sev­eral af­ter­shocks, in­clud­ing a mag­ni­tude 5.2 tem­blor less than two min­utes later.

No in­juries or deaths were re­ported, of­fi­cials said.

Satur­day’s quake oc­curred four days af­ter a 6.4 mag­ni­tude quake in the same area and amid a spate of more than 1,100 mostly small quakes over the past 15 days.

Gov. Wanda Vazquez es­ti­mated dam­age from Tues­day’s earth­quake at $110 mil­lion, with a to­tal of 559 struc­tures af­fected. She said her ad­min­is­tra­tion was re­leas­ing $2 mil­lion to six of the most af­fected mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

As a re­sult of Satur­day’s quake, 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.

Deputy Mayor El­iz­a­beth Oca­sio in the south­ern coastal city of Ponce said of­fi­cials closed the city’s down­town area and two other nearby ar­eas be­cause of weak­ened in­fra­struc­ture.

“One build­ing com­pletely col­lapsed,” she said. “There is a lot of his­toric in­fra­struc­ture in Ponce.”

Bar­bara Cruz, a pros­e­cu­tor who was in 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.

More land­slides and dam­aged homes were re­ported, along with se­vere cracks on a bridge in the south­west coastal town of Guanica.

CAR­LOS GIUSTI/AP

A crack runs through a bridge along Road 116 af­ter a mag­ni­tude 5.9 earth­quake Satur­day in Guanica, Puerto Rico.

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