Strongest earthquake yet hits Puerto Rico in weeklong string of tremors

Kathryn Krawczyk

A 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck Puerto Rico on Monday morning, followed by a 4.9 magnitude quake and several smaller ones in the following hours.

The largest quake originated south of the island at 6:32 a.m., cracking some houses' walls and collapsing at least five homes in the coastal town of Guánica. No casualties have been reported, and there was also no threat of a tsunami even as the residual quakes continued to hit.

Several smaller quakes ranging from 4.7 to 5.1 in magnitude have hit Puerto Rico since Dec. 28, leading Guánica resident Alberto Rodríguez to tell The Associated Press "We haven't slept ... you can't remain calm here. Guánica is no longer a safe place." His home collapsed Monday. Guánica Mayor told AP at least 29 other homes were heavily damaged after the latest quake. A rock formation popular among tourists called Playa Ventana also was damaged in the earlier quakes, and completely collapsed Monday.

Most residents have been wary of returning home to celebrate Three Kings Day, and some children ended up opening their gifts on sidewalks outside. Some people had already been prepared since the earlier quakes with clothes, food, and water already packed in their cars.

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