June 15, 2021

Puerto Ricans seek stability in the US after about 4,000 tremors

In the last two months there have been about 4,000 tremors in southern Puerto Rico, which has led many of its citizens to emigrate to the United States seeking stability that uncertainty denies.

The mayor of Guánica – one of the municipalities most affected by the earthquakes – Santos Seda, said on Wednesday that citizens are doing the right thing in seeking help in the United States, after noting a conservative figure of a thousand residents only in their territory who opted for emigrating

Silk, in statements to local media, said they “have done the right thing,” as he said they seek “their emotional health.”

The words of Silk occur almost a month after the first of the earthquakes that caused a crisis that began on January 6, date on which a quake of magnitude 5.8 caused damage in the southwest of the island.

That tremor, although serious, was only the prelude of which a day later, on January 7, would reach a magnitude of 6.4 causing a death, almost 4,000 refugees and hundreds of damaged homes.

The seismic activity continued throughout the month and yesterday Tuesday a new tremor, of magnitude 5 and with epicenter 22 kilometers south of Guánica, again caused panic in that municipality, a poor territory that now faces an emigration that will further damage your economy.

The population of southwestern Puerto Rico has reasons to pack, since since practically on December 28 the land has not stopped shaking.

The US NWS Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, a tsunami warning unit of the National Meteorological Service (SNM-NOAA) of the United States, produced a video of all the earthquakes reported in Puerto Rico last December and January that reflects near of 4,000 tremors.

In addition, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) released the report “The potential duration of replicas of the 2020 earthquake in southwest Puerto Rico”, which warns that the earthquake aftershocks of the past 7 of January may last for years.

The migratory current generated by the seismic activity worries the authorities about the repercussions it will have for the affected municipalities.

Demographer Raúl Figueroa told Efe that it is still too early to know the immigration consequences, but he made it clear that the economy of these municipalities will be strongly affected.

“No one endures such a drastic population decline and they are also municipalities that without the earthquake crisis already suffered population loss,” he said, adding that “it will be drastic.”

The director of the Census Information Center (CIC) of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), José Caraballo, told Efe that the demographic trend registered is normal when the population does not have enough support and understand that in the United States Yes I was going to find help.

“One of the worrying issues is that the US Census has to be carried out imminently, but when the population has left it will not be reflected, which will pose a serious problem for the municipalities, which when appearing as depopulated will lose much needed federal aid, “warned Caraballo.

Meanwhile, criticism continues to arise for those who claim that the Government of Puerto Rico has only used $ 80 million from the Emergency Fund of the 260 million available and authorized by the Fiscal Control Board (JSF).

The controversy is also still open about how the aid to the victims was managed after the allegations that the Executive, it is not well known why, did not distribute the available food in a warehouse in the city of Ponce.

The secretary of the Department of Justice, Dennise Longo, said on the matter that it could take up to 3 years to know what happened to the management of that warehouse, a delay that has raised controversy.


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