Bronx residents concerned over Puerto Rico in aftermath of earthquakes

Posted: Updated:

Puerto Rico is in a state of emergency following two earthquakes that occurred less than 24 hours apart from one another.

"Everything started shaking. we jumped out of our skin, it was horrible!" said Bronx resident Jackie Alequin as she spoke on the phone with her co-worker Awilda Cordero and recounted the moments she and her family were woken up by their beds shaking.

The majority of the island is without electricity. A church is crumbled to pieces and homes collapsed. A 73-year-old man was killed in the quake and eight others are injured.

The 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck before dawn Monday, followed by a 6.4 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday morning.

“Diseases are going to erupt now. That’s one of the worst things that’s going to come now if nobody helps them out,” says Emergency Rights volunteer Henry Martinez.

“I just started crying. I was very upset,” said Cordero, who is also the president of Emergency Rights.

Cordero is also encouraging people from the community to come to the Office of Emergency Services, where her and her staff can offer assistance when it comes to getting in touch with a friend or relative in Puerto Rico.

Despite her worries, Cordero is also showing support for the Caribbean island. “That’s why we are putting up the [Puerto Rican] flags to let people know that this is our office and that Puerto Ricans know could come here anytime,” Cordero added.

Fordham University physics associate professor Dr. Stephen Holler says the quakes were caused after the North American plate and Caribbean plate were pushed together

“There's been stress that’s been building up for decades,” Dr. Holler said. He added that Tuesday’s earthquake was five times as strong compared to Monday’s.

“If a house was shaking yesterday, it’s conceivable it could have collapsed today,” Dr. Holler said.

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