Natural landmark collapses as 5.8-magnitude earthquake jolts Puerto Rico

A 5.8-magnitude earthquake jolted Puerto Rico early Monday morning. Photo courtesy U.S. Geological Survey.

Jan. 6 (UPI) — A soaring stone arch in Puerto Rico collapsed Monday as a strong magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck off the southern coast of the U.S. territory.

The arch along the southern coast in the town of Guayanilla, known as Punta Ventana or Window Point, was one of Puerto Rico’s iconic natural wonders, the Miami Herald reported.

Denniza Colon, 22, a local resident, told the Miami Herald she was shocked when she went by the area she had visited often as a child and noticed the arch had vanished.

No casualties have been reported.

The U.S. Geological Survey pinpointed the temblor 8 miles south-southeast of Indios, Puerto Rico, in the Caribbean Sea, at a depth of 3.7 miles. It struck at 6:32 a.m. local time.

No tsunami threat was associated with the quake, the USGS said. There were, however, several lesser aftershocks.

Puerto Rico Director of Emergency Management Carlos Acevedo told CNN no one suffered any major injuries in the quake. Some homes, however, sustained damaged in Guanica and another collapsed in Guayanilla. Electricity was knocked out in isolated areas.

In a pair of tweets, Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced said she was in “direct communication” with mayors of Guayanilla and Guánica, as well as other officials.

“Citizens must remain calm and have their action plans prepared to protect themselves,” she tweeted.

Puerto Rico has experienced a flurry of seismic activity since Dec. 28, with Monday’s quake being the strongest yet.


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