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More than a dozen earthquakes reported in Puerto Rico on Christmas Eve

One had a preliminary magnitude of 4.8 on the Richter scale.
A look at earthquake activity on Puerto Rico on Thursday.
A look at earthquake activity on Puerto Rico on Thursday. [ U.S. Geological Survey ]
Published Dec. 24, 2020

A series of earthquakes in Puerto Rico on Thursday ranged from magnitude 2.1 to a preliminary magnitude of 4.8 on the Richter scale.

The Puerto Rico Seismic Network, Red Sísmica, has recorded earth movements in the south since early Thursday morning. None caused a tsunami alert, but island residents have shown concern about the earthquakes that began in December 2019 and have not stopped since then, although they did decrease in intensity.

The first tremor occurred at 1:02 a.m. local time with a magnitude of 3.3 in the Guánica area. The epicenter of this natural phenomenon was about 6 miles southeast of Guánica with a depth of about 7½ miles.

The earthquake with the highest intensity was reported at noon with an intensity of 4.8, according to the Red Sísmica. The epicenter was located in the south of the Caribbean island, near the seismic zone where the earthquakes have been concentrated.

The movements on the island began almost a year ago on Dec. 28 when a 4.7 magnitude earthquake was recorded in the same geographical area as the tremors that were reported Thursday. On Jan. 6, when the island was celebrating Three Kings Day, there was an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.7 in the southern area. The following day, a 6.4-second earthquake caused the collapse of the island’s electrical system, heavy landslides and great destruction in multiple areas.

Earth movements in Puerto Rico are being investigated by scientists analyzing the Punta Montalva fault located in the area southeast of Guánica.

Meteorologist Ada Monzón has urged everyone to remain calm and be prepared. “You are the ones who know what a 6.4 tremor feels like,” he said on social media.

Monzón also explained that the tremors “do not recognize dates” and asked not to focus on the fact that in four days the year of the first recorded earth movement on the island would be completed.

She urged people to be vigilant about the situation and not let their guard down.

The latest earthquake, the strongest one thus far, is one of the more than 15 tremors recorded by the Puerto Rico Seismic Network on Thursday.

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