Trump signs emergency declaration for Puerto Rico after earthquakes
U.S. President Donald Trump has signed an emergency declaration for Puerto Rico, the White House announced on Wednesday, after the island was hit by strong earthquakes. The White House said the president has ordered federal assistance to supplement local response efforts resulting from recent earthquakes.
The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have been authorized to coordinate all disaster relief efforts, according to the White House. The announcement came one day after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake and a number of aftershocks hit Puerto Rico on Tuesday, reportedly killing one person and injuring nine others
.The earthquakes also caused damage to buildings and cut electricity to the island. Acting FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor tweeted Wednesday his agency is working closely with impacted municipalities in Puerto Rico to address emergency needs.
Over the past several weeks, hundreds of earthquakes, many of which were weak and could not be felt, have occurred in the area, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Puerto Rico, with a population of 3.4 million, is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeast Caribbean Sea, approximately 1,600 kilometers southeast of Miami, Florida.