Liquefaction in Puerto Rico Earthquake

Unfortunately, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit Puerto Rico early Tuesday.  The earthquake was centered approximately 5 miles south of PR and 6 miles deep in the Caribbean.  The shaking that occurred with this earthquake was extreme!

This shaking of the ground, if extreme and if the soil is right, can cause liquefaction of the ground.  This is when the soil turns into a slurry of water and soil.  It becomes very unstable and can cause massive landslides and also topple most trees and homes.  The liquefaction happens quickly....within minutes.  Below is an example of liquefaction due to an earthquake.

Since the center of the quake was just south of Puerto Rico, the hardest hit areas were on the south side of the island.  This map below shows the areas that received low to moderate amounts of liquefaction.  These areas coincide where the most structural damage and injuries occurred.

Our thoughts and prayers are with those in Puerto Rico.