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Another earthquake hits Puerto Rico with 5.9 magnitude

An earthquake with a 5.9 magnitude rattled Puerto Rico on Saturday morning, the US Geological Survey reports.

The quake was about 8 miles south of Indios, Puerto Rico, in the Caribbean Sea, the USGS said, at a depth of 6.2 miles. The USGS first said the preliminary magnitude was 6.0.

Puerto Rico has been rattled by temblors throughout the week, including a 6.4 magnitude quake Tuesday that killed at least one man, destroyed homes and left most of the island without power. A 5.2 magnitude aftershock struck on Friday afternoon.

The US territory was expecting power to return by Saturday to its 3 million residents, and authorities had tweeted that it was 95% restored a couple of hours before Saturday’s quake about 8 a.m. ET.

Parts of Lares, Adjuntas, Ponce and San German lost electrical service after Saturday’s quake, the power company Electric Energy Authority said.

After the tremor, power was on to about 93% of the island, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority said.

Governor declares emergency

Since December 28, about 500 earthquakes of magnitude 2.0 or higher have hit Puerto Rico, which is still recovering from Hurricane Maria in 2017.

That storm killed almost 3,000 people, and left millions of Americans without power, water or shelter. Recovery has been slow and hard.

Amid the earthquakes, Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced this week declared a state of emergency and activated the Puerto Rico National Guard.

She told people to stay calm and expect aftershocks. Many took mattresses, tents and tarps into their yards to sleep, afraid of what aftershocks could do to their homes, already stressed or damaged.

More than 6,000 people were staying in shelters, Rep. Jenniffer González-Colón, the territory’s non-voting delegate to Congress, said Friday.

Airbnb offers free housing on the island

Airbnb’s Open Homes program is offering free, temporary housing in Puerto Rico, its site says.

“Relief workers, neighbors who’ve had to evacuate, and others impacted by the event” are eligible to book rooms at no cost, Airbnb says. “If you’ve been displaced or are helping with relief efforts, you can book free accommodations between January 9, 2020 and January 31, 2020.”

Residents can also donate space for those in need of temporary housing.

Author: Jay Croft, CNN
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