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Articles & Insights Jan 07 2020

Devastation caused by back to back 5.8 and 6.4 magnitude earthquakes

On January 6th and 7th, 2020, two high magnitude earthquakes, 5.8 and 6.4 consecutively, rocked Puerto Rico causing significant infrastructure damage, at least one death and several injured. There have been hundreds of small earthquakes in this region since Dec 28, 2019. The latest quake has left more than 300,000 homes and businesses without power or water.

The quakes have even caused damage to cultural attractions and infrastructure, including the Punta Ventana stone arch in Guayanilla which collapsed after Monday's 5.8 magnitude earthquake. (Image Source:

Experts are saying that this could be the worst earthquake to hit the region in over 100 years and that there will likely be aftershocks, but those will decrease over time.

Billions in recovery funds may come to Puerto Rico

The damages caused by these earthquakes will likely result in billions of dollars in federal funding and other source aid. Disaster analysts have said the quakes could cost Puerto Rico up to $3.1 billion in economic losses, including housing, tourism and lost wages, when figuring in potential damages caused by aftershocks. USGS is currently estimating losses greater than $100 million. Much of the infrastructure damage from hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 is still not repaired. Only approximately $14 billion of the total $42 billion allocated to the recovery efforts from FEMA and HUD, has been spent to date.

Resources and Latest News on the Puerto Rico Earthquakes:

We stand ready

Witt O'Brien's is saddened by the damage and destruction inflicted on residents from the recent earthquakes in Puerto Rico. We are here to help and stand ready to assist Puerto Rico with any response or recovery needs they may have. Reach out to our experts if you need advice or call our 24/7 command center for support at #1-985-781-0804.

Brad Gair, Senior Managing Director
Brad Gair, Senior Managing Director

Andy Robinson, Senior Managing Director
Andy Robinson, Senior Managing Director