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PONCE – A 5.9 magnitude earthquake rattled Puerto Rico on Saturday, fuelling anxiety among residents and sending them running in terror.
The quake was about 8 miles south of Indios in the Caribbean Sea, the US Geological Survey said, at a depth of 6.2 miles. The USGS first said the preliminary magnitude was 6.0.
Puerto Rico has been beset by temblors throughout the week, including a 6.4 magnitude quake Tuesday that killed at least one man, destroyed homes and left most of the island without power. A 5.2 magnitude aftershock struck on Friday afternoon.
As of Saturday afternoon, about 59 000 customers remain without power, Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority officials said.
The earthquake renewed fear and anxiety among residents in the southern towns of the island.
As the ground shook on Saturday, people at Mercedita International Airport in Ponce quickly ran outside the terminal, and a few miles away, parts of the roof and facade of a historic building collapsed.
Luis Emanuelli, who owns a restaurant in the building, said that while the interior was not damaged, he and his team decided pick up a few documents, some equipment and close indefinitely.
"We don't know what we are exposed to," he said.
The US territory was expecting power to return by Saturday to its 3 million residents, and authorities had tweeted that it was 95 per cent restored a couple of hours before Saturday’s quake at about 8 a.m. ET.
Amid the earthquakes, Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced signed a major disaster declaration on Saturday, asking the federal government for additional federal aid for the southern towns of Guanica, Guayanilla, Peñuelas, Ponce and Yauco.
The governor told reporters there is an estimated $110 million in damage caused by the quakes. (CNN)