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'Everyone is out on the street': Latest Puerto Rico quake causes further damage

A magnitude 6.0 quake shook Puerto Rico on Saturday, causing further damage along the island's southern coast, where previous recent quakes have toppled homes and schools.

Outages reported across much of the southern portion of the island

A home is seen collapsed after an earthquake in Guanica, Puerto Rico, on Jan. 7. (Ricardo Ortiz/Reuters)

A magnitude 6.0 quake shook Puerto Rico on Saturday, causing further damage along the island's southern coast, where previous recent quakes have toppled homes and schools.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the 8:54 a.m. ET quake hit 13 kilometres south of Indios at a shallow depth of 10 kilometres.

Puerto Rico's Electric Power Authority said outages were reported across much of southern Puerto Rico and crews were assessing possible damage at power plants.

Barbara Cruz, a prosecutor who was in the southern coastal city of Ponce when the new quake hit, said concrete debris hit the sidewalk as buildings continued to crumble.

"Everyone is out on the street," she said.

This home was also destroyed in Guanica, a town on the southwest coast of Puerto Rico. (Ricardo Ortiz/Reuters)

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

It was the strongest shake yet since a magnitude 6.4 quake — the strongest to hit the island in a century — struck before dawn on Tuesday, knocking out power across Puerto Rico and leaving many without water. More than 2,000 people remain in shelters, many fearful of returning to their homes, and others unable to because of extensive damage.

Hundreds of quakes have shaken the island since the new year, though most were too slight to be felt.

Hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans are still without power and water, and thousands are staying in shelters and sleeping on sidewalks since Tuesday's earthquake. That temblor killed one person, injured nine others and damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes and several schools and businesses in the island's southwest region.

NASA records ground displacement

The stronger quake that struck on Jan. 7 caused the ground to shift downward and to the west by up to 14 centimetres on the eastern two-thirds of the island, according to NASA.

NASA released a map on Friday with data from a satellite flyover, showing the greatest displacement occurred west of the city of Ponce, not far from the quake's offshore epicentre.

Permanent lowering of the ground's surface often occurs during earthquakes.

 

With files from CBC News

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