6.5-magnitude earthquake shakes Puerto Rico

Jan 13 2014, 10:59pm CST | by , in News | Other Stuff

6.5-magnitude earthquake shakes Puerto Rico
Source: Getty Images

A 6.5-magnitude earthquake rocked Puerto Rico on Monday morning. The quake occurred along a fault that was previously created by two clashing tectonic plates.

On Sunday, Haitians paused to remember the anniversary of the tragic 7.0-magnitude earthquake that killed more than 300,000 in 2010. But at 12:01 AM on Monday, just 376 miles from Haiti, a 6.5-magnitude earthquake rocked the waters of Hatillo, a municipality in Puerto Rico.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the epicenter was 35 miles (57 kilometers) north of Hatillo, and was shallow, just 17 miles (28 kilometers) deep. Residents in nearby areas reported broken windows, cracked floors, and damaged water lines. Power outages also occurred in Bayamon, while the buildings in the capital San Juan swayed, people said. Over 70 aftershocks have been reported since then.

Gisela Baez Sanchez, a geologist at the Puerto Rico Seismic Network, previously warned that the U.S. territory was in a seismic danger zone. However, Puerto Rico's emergency management agency did not issue a tsunami warning. Spokesman Carlos Acevedo said that no casualties and injuries have been reported. "The damages have been minor. No one has required our services," he said in a phone interview.

Sanchez on the other hand said that Puerto Rico experiences small earthquakes on a daily basis and residents usually don't feel it. In December 2010, a 5.4-magnitude earthquake shook the archipelago. Another of the same magnitide struck the territory in March 2011. But perhaps the most devastating was a 7.3-magnitude quake in October 1918 which triggered a tsunami and killed 116 people.

Monday's earthquake was a result of oblique-thrust faulting, the U.S. Geological Survey said. 

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