The swarm of earthquakes left 8,460 people living in temporary camps.
On January 7th, Puerto Rico was rattled by a 6.4 quake after a series of powerful tremors which had been registered in previous days. Near the epicenter in the south, at least 780 homes were damaged and thousands of Puerto Ricans are setting up camps outside their homes in fear of more earthquakes. We are still experiencing aftershocks.
What we are doing now
The immediate concern is the safety, comfort and health of people staying in temporary camps. With the support of María Fund and Oxfam, we are distributing heavy duty tarps with UV protection, camping gear, bug repellent and mosquito nets. We are setting up temporary showers and portable bathrooms. Thanks to volunteers and groups like Brigada Solidaria del Oeste, El Hangar de Santurce, EspicyNipples and Campamento contra las Cenizas de Peñuelas, we have reached communities in the towns of Guánica, Yauco, Guayanilla, Peñuelas, Ponce and Utuado.
We are collaborating with other organizations to determine other emergency and long-term needs.
What you can do next
You can advocate for equitable long-term recovery and emergency preparedness. Puerto Rico is facing an unprecedented economic and political crisis. We have not recovered from hurricane María. The earthquake is a terrible reminder of what we are still facing: defunded essential services, lack of transparency in disaster recovery and emergency preparedness funding, distrust in local and federal governments’ ability to manage the emergency, vulnerable infrastructure, and the unaudited debt which is resulting in austerity measures threatening the quality of life in Puerto Rico.
Follow organizations like María Fund, Ayuda Legal Puerto Rico and the Center for Investigative Journalism to stay up to date on issues related to Puerto Rico.