Powerful earthquake measuring Magnitude 5.9 hits Puerto Rico

A magnitude 5.9 earthquake shook Puerto Rico on Saturday, causing further damage on the island’s southern coast, where recent quakes have toppled homes and schools.

The US Geological Survey said the 8.54am quake hit eight miles south of Indios at a shallow depth of six miles.

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.

Barbara Cruz, a prosecutor who was in the southern coastal city of 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.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

It was the strongest shake since a magnitude 6.4 quake – the strongest to hit the island in a century – struck before dawn on Tuesday, knocking out power across Puerto Rico and leaving many without water.

More than 6,000 people remain in shelters, many fearful of returning to their homes, and others unable to because of extensive damage.

Amid the earthquakes, Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced signed a major disaster declaration on Saturday, asking the federal government for additional federal aid for the southern towns of Guanica, Guayanilla, Peñuelas, Ponce and Yauco.

The governor told reporters there is an estimated $110 million in damage caused by the quakes.