Destinations

Puerto Rico “open for tourism” despite devastating earthquakes

Huntley Mitchell

Huntley Mitchell

Puerto Rico is continuing to welcome tourists despite suffering not one, but two destructive earthquakes this week.

The magnitude 5.8 and magnitude 6.4 earthquakes struck on Monday and Tuesday (local time), causing a significant amount of damage to homes and structures, and left much of the US territory without electricity or water.

The 6.4 magnitude quake left an elderly man dead, as well as injuring at least eight other people, according to the Associated Press.

One of Puerto Rico’s natural wonders, Punta Ventana, collapsed as a result of the magnitude 5.8 quake. The UPRM Meteorological Laboratory shared photos of the popular tourist attraction before and after the quake.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey’s most recent update, Puerto Rico has been hit by 47 aftershocks of a magnitude of three or higher, which are strong enough to be felt; and three magnitude five or higher shocks, which are large enough to do damage.

“It is highly likely that there will be many smaller earthquakes over the next [week],” the update said.

However, despite Governor Wanda Vazquez declaring a state of emergency, Puerto Rico “continues to be open for tourism”, according to a statement from the US territory’s tourism agency issued this morning.

“Today, we welcomed close to 15,000 tourists from three cruise ships into our San Juan Port in Old San Juan,” the statement read.

“Power across the island is being restored, with 50 per cent of those who lost power yesterday back on the grid.

“All flights are operating normally to/from the San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín, Ponce and Aguadilla airports.

“The Ponce Cruise Port, the Puerto Rico Convention Center, and attractions such as El Morro, El Yunque, San Cristóbal Fort, and hotels throughout the northern region of Puerto Rico, including all areas around San Juan, continue to be open.

“Governor Vázquez has kept a state of emergency to continue to ensure those in need in the southern region receive adequate support.”

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