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Help for Puerto Rico Following the Earthquakes

Giovanna Guerrero-Medina's picture


Since December 28, 2019, Puerto Rico has been rocked by a seismic sequence (i.e., a string of tremors and earthquakes), including a 6.4 magnitude earthquake on January 7th, 2020, the strongest in over a century. This has been followed by more than 1,100 aftershocks concentrated in Puerto Rico's southern region, on or near the Punta Montalva Fault, with dozens between magnitudes 4.5 and 6.0. 

The earthquakes have resulted in one direct death, and the loss or damage to civilian, business, and public structures affecting ~700,000 people in south-central Puerto Rico. After the January 7th earthquake there was an archipelago-wide blackout, and water and communication services were also affected. Economic losses are estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars

As of Saturday, January 11, there are more than 6,000 refugees in formal and informal camps. Many more are sleeping outside in open air, tents or their cars, too afraid to sleep inside. Several schools have collapsed or sustained severe damage. The Department of Education has delayed the beginning of the school semester until January 28, until all schools are inspected and certified to be safe. As of Thursday, January 21, only 224 out of 856 schools had been inspected and certified to open.  

Understandably, people throughout Puerto Rico, but particularly in the south, are scared and anxious. The earthquakes are resurfacing the trauma of Hurricane Maria, from which Puerto Rico has not fully recovered.   

Just like we did after Hurricane Maria in 2017, the CienciaPR community is mobilizing to help and support Puerto Rico. We have created a list of ways in which you can support the communities and students in Puerto Rico. All our links and pages are being constantly updated.




If you are aware of any resources or events, or are organizing an event and would like us to amplify the information and give it more visibility, you can:

Although CienciaPR is not able to provide on-the-ground relief, we have a long history working to help support science education, training, and research in Puerto Rico and will be focused on applying the scientific community’s knowledge and talents to Puerto Rico’s long-term reconstruction and to science and education. Donations would be greatly appreciated and would help us advance towards those goals. Please note, we are a non-profit entity registered in Puerto Rico but we have not received 501c3 designation yet. If you would like more information, please contact us.