A large earthquake in Puerto Rico has left one dead and many injured among widespread property damage. Shock waves radiated through the island, destroying homes and knocking out power.
The 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit at 4:24 local time, which equates to 3:24 in Eastern Standard Time. It struck near the town of Tallaboa, on the western side of the island’s southern coast.
The national electrical grid has not been fully rebuilt after the devastation of Hurricane Maria in 2017. The funding for various reconstruction projects has been intentionally delayed by the Trump administration as reported by The Hill in late 2019. Administration officials have cited concerns about potential misuse of funds as their rationale for delaying aid money legally allocated by Congress. The weakened grid has been effectively collapsed by the earthquake, with nearly the entire island now lacking electricity.
A series of smaller aftershocks have continued to disrupt emergency recovery efforts, and the experience of a large 5.8 quake the day before the 6.4 shock has raised tensions in the area about potential further earthquakes.
Houses and workplaces have been compromised, with the greatest destruction in the southern part of the island.
Man-made structures were not the only ones damaged. A famed rock formation and tourist attraction, Punta Ventana, collapsed amidst the strike, after having been weakened in recent days by a series of smaller earthquakes.
President Trump is awake and has already issued a tweet about Fox and Friends; at the time of this writing, that was more than an hour ago. He has yet to offer comments or consolation for the residents of the United States territory, nor any aid to the government toward recovery.