A magnitude 5.9 shock hit Puerto Rico on Saturday morning as the island's residents were already reeling from a series of major quakes this week, including one on Tuesday that was the biggest in a century.
The latest quake, which came around 9 a.m. local time, has caused even further damage, mainly in areas around the southern coast where hundreds of homes and schools had already collapsed from the Tuesday temblor that had a magnitude of 6.4.
Saturday's quake, which was initially calculated at magnitude 6.0, also left roughly 59,000 customers without power, according to the island's power authority.
Witnesses said the temblor caused concrete debris from damaged buildings to topple into the streets, mainly around the southern area.
Randy Baldwin, a geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey, said that the 6.0 magnitude quake is considered an aftershock along with several other 5.0 magnitude aftershocks overnight.
“The one this morning is the strongest one” since the big earthquake on Tuesday.
Gov. Wanda Vázquez said Saturday afternoon that she had declared a major state emergency after an initial assessment of damage following the latest temblor.
The governor also announced the immediate disbursement of $2 million for the hard-hit towns of Guánica, Utuado, Guayanilla, Peñuelas, Ponce and Yauco, which are all near the epicenter of the quakes, to meet their most pressing needs.
The quakes have caused $110 million in damages and have destroyed at least 559 structures islandwide, she said.