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US-PUERTORICO-QUAKE

Source: RICARDO ARDUENGO / Getty

Early Tuesday morning a severe magnitude earthquake rocked the Puerto Rico leaving one person dead, while also causing an island-wide power outage, mostly affecting the southwestern region.

Governor Wanda Vázquez announced the island is in an official state of emergency during an early morning press conference.

“We’ve never been exposed to this kind of emergency in 102 years,” she said in Spanish according to NBC News.

Since the start of the first earthquake around 4:42 a.m. aftershocks began rolling in, with government authorities warning that monitoring of quakes and tremors will probably consist throughout the remainder of the week.

“Citizen security is a priority, so vulnerable areas are being inspected and all necessary measures will be taken to ensure the safety of all Puerto Ricans,” Vásquez said.

Government buildings will remain closed for safety reasons until further notice and schools won’t reopen until Monday as most citizens fear what the effects of another major earthquake will bring. According to NBC News, residents have been on edge since December 28 with the numerous tremors and smaller quakes.

Power will be slowly restored to the region, however water supply is still nonexistent for about 300,00 customers who rely on electrical water pumps, NBC News reports.

Tuesday’s earthquake is just one day after a 5.8 magnitude shock that hit early Monday morning, causing heavy damage to homes and buildings in Guánica.

In the aftermath of Tuesday’s earthquake two cultural sites were struck including the Guánica lighthouse which one of its front walls completely collapsed. The lighthouse was built by Spanish conquerors in 1892.

Another site which suffered damage is the Punta Ventana, which one of the rock formations collapsed. The rock drew in hordes of tourists in Guayanilla.

The earthquake comes after the 2017 devastation of Hurricane Maria which killed almost 3,000 people. Rebuilding and restructuring efforts are still a main source of contention among government officials and activists on the ground who are fighting for continued relief efforts.

The New York Times reports that White House officials have been briefed on the situation in Puerto Rico, however Trump has yet to release an official statement regarding Tuesday’s tragedies at the time of report.

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