A CNN team said its truck moved during the quake, one of the strongest since the magnitude 6.4 earthquake.
The quake occurred when the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is providing help and assisting in damage assessment. after the earthquake shook the island before dawn on tuesday. It was one of about 500 magnitude 2 or higher earthquakes that have shaken the area since December 28, according to the US Geological Survey.
The earthquake left a man dead, caused dozens of houses and other structures to collapse and left about two-thirds of residents in the dark.
US territory, still recovering from damage caused by Hurricane Mary in 2017, expects to return power to all of its 3 million inhabitants by Saturday, according to utility officials.
Earthquake sends residents to sleep in their backyards
Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced declared a state of emergency and activated the Puerto Rico National Guard as she urged residents to calm down and prepare for aftershocks.
For many, this meant bringing mattresses, tents and tarpaulins into the yard to sleep in fear of what aftershocks could do in their already damaged homes.
Rep. Jenniffer González-Colón, Puerto Rico's non-voting congressional delegate, spoke at a news conference Friday with Vázquez and Florida Senator Rick Scott after visiting the damaged Costa Sur plant.
She said more than 6,000 people were staying in shelters.
Vázquez said he spoke with President Donald Trump to thank him for his support and to ask for his prompt approval of a major disaster statement.
Myrna Delgado said she sought refuge outside her home when the first aftershocks began on December 28. She slept in a van and then in a stadium shelter in the southwestern city of Yauco.
"I'm very nervous," she told CNN on Friday. "At night I feel very depressed. We have no light at home. With the company of other people, at least we feel safe."
Noelia de Jesus and her granddaughters are also among those who shelter. They are also among the many seeking a place to stay for the third time, having lost their homes when Hurricane George hit in 1998 and again during Hurricane Mary.
Luis Garcia, a resident of the southern coastal town of Guayanilla, said he found it harder to secure basic items like gas and food than after Hurricane Maria in 2017.
The tremors may not be over
US Geological Survey (USGS) modeled three predictions of what may be in store for Puerto Rico next month.
The most likely scenario, according to the USGS, is that aftershocks will continue to decrease in frequency; and while there may be medium and small earthquakes, there will not be another earthquake like Tuesday's in this sequence. The USGS said the probability of this scenario is 84%.
There is a 14% chance of what is called a doublet, which are two large earthquakes of similar size that occur at a similar location, the USGS said. Meaning there is a case where the region could see another earthquake as powerful as magnitude 6.4.
Unlikely is Tuesday's earthquake could trigger an even bigger one. Although the likelihood is small, the impacts of this scenario would be devastating, the USGS said.
"The USGS advises everyone to be aware of the possibility of aftershocks, especially when in or around vulnerable structures such as unreinforced masonry buildings," the agency said.
Shutdown and closed schools
While Puerto Rico waits to see what may happen, the authorities intend to restore power by the end of the weekend.
Power has been restored to about 80 percent of Puerto Rico's 1.4 million customers across the island, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority via Twitter said on Friday, but the goal is for everyone to have power on Saturday. .
Three of the territory's top power plants are expected to be back in service on Saturday, with a fourth set to operate on Sunday, said dealership CEO Jose Ortiz.
But the power plant that supplies about a quarter of the island's power, Costa Sur, has suffered extensive damage and could be out of operation for a year, Ortiz said in an air interview. "CBS this morning."
Staff are also working to reopen schools, which have canceled classes until staff can inspect buildings and ensure their safety for students.
"Classes in the public school system will not resume until a full assessment of all campuses," tweeted Education Secretary Eligio Hernández Pérez, adding that teachers and staff will not return to school until further notice.
Maria Santana, CNN CNN, Elizabeth Plaza, Faith Karimi, Dakin Andone, Camila Bernal, Eliott C. McLaughlin, and Jamiel Lynch contributed to this report.
. (tagsToTranslate) us (t) Full force is expected to return to Puerto Rico this weekend after the earthquake – CNN