November 25, 2020

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Emergency Management and mayors maintain dialogue in the face of tremors in the south

The commissioner of the Bureau of Emergency Management and Disaster Administration (Nmead) José Burgos, maintained that at least until today afternoon he had not received any report on damages due to the tremors that were recorded on Sunday in the south and southwest areas of the country, which would have added to the devastation caused by the earthquakes on January 6 and 7 of this year.

"I asked for the report by area and the report is that there was no , that there was no additional damage. But it continues to move, there are structures that were damaged during the earthquake of the 7th (January), these structures continue to receive these movements "the commissioner affirmed in the face of the unpredictable scenario.

Two earthquakes of magnitude 4.8 and 4.37 With just three minutes between them, they shook the southwest area of ​​the island on Sunday at 2:42 and 2:45 in the morning. The Puerto Rico Seismic Network recorded the epicenter of both events at the southeastern tip of Guánica. The events revived the fear that was experienced at the beginning of the year with the earthquake of magnitude 6.4, although the land in that area has not stopped moving since December 28, 2019.

Burgos told this media that since Sunday keeps the search and rescue team on "stand by", in case of any emergency that may arise. So far, he indicated, none of the mayors of the area has requested that a shelter be enabled, although he assured that he is also ready to coordinate the effort, if necessary.

The commissioner had a meeting this afternoon with the mayors of Guánica (Santos Seda), Guayanilla (Nelson Torres) and Yauco (Ángel Luis Torres), to review and discuss aspects related to the state and municipal response to an earthquake emergency.

“We are open to recommendations or requests that mayors have. On Sunday I contacted the administrator of Public Housing and we were also on 'stand by' in case any of the mayors asked that any of the shelters be opened "Burgos said.

The mayor of Guánica said yesterday In a radio interview that engineers evaluated the structure of the Mariano "Tito" Rodríguez coliseum and partial damages were found, but Seda has not been available for an interview today.

For his part, the mayor of Yauco, Ángel Luis Torres, stated that Although there has been no additional damage at the moment, it is concerned that there may be greater damage to houses that had partial damage, as well as to houses that were already severely damaged and declared uninhabitable.

"Our call has been that, If any of these structures has received additional damages that could compromise neighboring residences, let us know, "explained the municipal executive.

For Torres, one of the most important points of the meeting n will be the discussion of the eviction plan in the event of a major earthquake that would seriously affect the Luchetti Reservoir in that municipality.

“In terms of the dam, there is no eviction plan, which is what we have been working on (at the level municipal) since the last earthquake and we would like to be able to detail the final points with the commissioner of Emergency Management to make it public, ”said the mayor. The municipal executive would also request Burgos to follow up on a request that the municipality made to the United States Army Reserve, after the earthquakes at the beginning of the year, about the availability of modules that would be installed as shelters in an emergency.

Due to the intensity of the tremors and the consecutive way in which they were recorded, Torres reported that the situation has revived the nightmare that occurred in January in the southern area, and although it is not possible to predict whether there will be an earthquake of greater intensity , there are similarities that have caused anxiety.

"It was very similar to January 6 (one day before the 6.4 earthquake), which was trembling in this way, greater than (magnitude) four consecutively" he counted.

The mayor was able to confirm that, since these past tremors, there are families who have returned to spend the night in field houses in the patios of their homes. "I was able to verify that same day (Sunday) in the morning and the emotional health of many people, especially the elderly who live alone, we know that they are committed, because they have let us know, by living in this constant uncertainty." He also recalled that there are families that continue to live under tents after having lost their homes during the January earthquakes.

The director of the Puerto Rico Seismic Network, Víctor Huérfano, as well as personnel from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Torres explained that the mayors were interested in clarifying doubts about the behavior of the tremors, as well as obtaining details on studies related to the geological faults in the area.

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