PUERTO RICO - Devastating earthquakes have jolted Puerto Rico this week and more are likely to occur.
On Monday, a 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit the island before dawn, unleashing small landslides, causing power outages and severely cracking some homes. It was one of the strongest quakes yet to hit the U.S. territory. Then on Tuesday, another earthquake hit Puerto Rico, measuring at a 6.4-magnitude quake. At least one person has died, several have been injured, and many buildings are significantly damaged.
Aftershocks have continued to rumble the island and the USGS said that this will continue near the mainshock. In a detailed aftershock forecast, the USGS said that within the next week, there is a 99 percent chance that an earthquake of magnitude 3 or higher will occur in Puerto Rico. They added that there is a 64 percent chance of a magnitude 5 earthquake or higher.
While no one can predict the exact time or place of an earthquake, you can prepare for one. The USGS said to:
- Secure your space by identifying hazards and securing moveable items.
- Plan to be safe by creating a disaster plan and deciding how you will communicate in an emergency.
- Organize disaster supplies in convienant locations.
- Minimize financial hardship by organizing documents, strengthening your property, and considering insurance.
Disaster supplies should include:
- Medications, prescription list, copies of medical cards, doctor’s name and contact information
- Medical consent forms for dependents
- First aid kit and handbook
- Spare eyeglasses or contact lenses and cleaning solution
- Bottled water
- Whistle (to alert rescuers to your location)
- Sturdy shoes
- Emergency cash
- Road maps
- And more, as documented by the Earthquake Country Alliance
And in the event that there is an earthquake, the USGS advised that you "drop, cover, and hold."
This story was written in Orlando, Florida.