Magnitude 5.4 Earthquake Felt in Puerto Rico
Around 7 a.m. local time May 2, a magnitude 5.4 earthquake struck offshore south of Tallaboa, Puerto Rico on the southern side of the island. There are media reports of local damage to some older structures and widespread power outages across Puerto Rico.
The USGS ShakeMap indicates there was very strong shaking locally in southern Puerto Rico from this earthquake and the USGS PAGER report has issued an orange alert for economic losses, indicating significant damage is likely and the disaster is potentially widespread. Estimated economic losses are expected to be less than 1% of Puerto Rico’s Gross Domestic Product.
The earthquake is an aftershock of the January 7 magnitude 6.4 earthquake, and occurred as a result of similar tectonic activity. The May 2 aftershock falls within the expectations for the earthquake sequence laid out in the USGS aftershock forecast, which was recently updated to indicate a 20% chance of an earthquake magnitude 5 or higher from April 28 through May 28.
To date, this earthquake sequence along the southern Puerto Rico coast has involved 95 magnitude 4+ earthquakes since late December 2019, including two magnitude 4+ aftershocks since this morning’s magnitude 5.4 event. There have also been more than 1,000 earthquakes of magnitude 3 or greater, which are large enough to be felt locally.
If you felt this earthquake, report your experience on the “USGS Did You Fee It?” website for this event.
More and updated information about the earthquake can be found here: https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us700098mg/executive