Puerto Rico Hit By Deadly 6.4 Magnitude Earthquake
One day after Puerto Rico suffered a 5.8 magnitude earthquake, the U.S. territory was struck by an even stronger jolt, according to CNN, and Tuesday’s 6.4 magnitude quake killed at least one person and left hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses without running water.
Tuesday’s earthquake was the strongest in a series of quakes to hit Puerto Rico since December 28, CNN reported. Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced has declared a state of emergency and activated the Puerto Rico National Guard in response.
The center of the earthquake was located just off Puerto Rico's southern coast and the rumbling began at 4:24 a.m. local time, the news outlet reported. It was followed by several aftershocks, including one that came in at a 5.6 magnitude.
Nearly 300,000 utility customers on the island were without water service on Tuesday morning, the governor said. Power outages and damage were also reported closer to Puerto Rico’s southern coast.
"We have responded to many difficult situations, and here we are once again ... helping our people move forward," Vázquez said in a news conference.
According to White House spokesperson Judd Deere, President Donald Trump has been briefed on the situation, but so far the president has yet to address the earthquake via Twitter — his usual platform.
“The President has been briefed on the earthquakes that Puerto Rico has experienced over the past month, including the earthquake early this morning," Deere said.
"Administration officials, including FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor, have been in touch with the governor and her team today, and we will continue to monitor the effects and coordinate with Puerto Rico officials."
In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Trump was criticized over his handling of the disaster, both his administration’s response to the situation as well as his personal statements disparaging Puerto Rico and its officials.