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Deadly Puerto Rico Earthquake Impacting Island’s Tourism



At least one person is dead in Puerto Rico and several more were left injured after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked the island Tuesday morning.

According to the Washington Post, there have been at least 24 aftershocks since the earthquake hit Tuesday, which followed a 5.8-magnitude quake that struck early Monday morning off Puerto Rico’s southern coast.

The series of earthquakes and tremors started December 28, with the latest causing an island-wide power outage and structural damage to roads and bridges. As a result, Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vazquez has signed a state of emergency for the island.

“We’ve never been exposed to this kind of emergency in 102 years,” Vazquez told ABC News.

While emergency personnel continue rescue efforts and begin cleaning up impacted areas, Discover Puerto Rico told TravelPulse key travel hubs such as Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, San Juan Cruise Port, Ponce Cruise Port and Airport and the Puerto Rico Convention Center remain open.

“We recommend that travelers currently in Puerto Rico or with upcoming travel plans contact their travel providers, hotels and local businesses to inquire about operations that have been specifically impacted,” Discover Puerto Rico said in a statement.

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In addition, tourism attractions and hotels in northern Puerto Rico, including San Juan and the surrounding areas, are operational. Even some of the facilities that lost power are running on generators and still open for business.

While the U.S. Geological Service said there is no tsunami threat to the island at this time, ferry service to the islands of Vieques and Culebra has been temporarily suspended.

Monday’s earthquake also damaged or destroyed several tourist hotspots, including the Guanica lighthouse and the Playa Ventana coastal rock formation in the southwest town of Guayanilla. The tower of the lighthouse built in 1892 survived, but one of its front walls collapsed.

As for the Playa Ventana coastal rock formation, the rounded window in the stone collapsed, with Guayanilla press officer Glidden Lopez saying, “Playa Ventana collapsed. Today our icon remains in our memory.”

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