A 5.5-magnitude earthquake hit near southern Puerto Rico on Saturday, shortly before another quake struck the Mediterranean Sea south of the Greek island of Crete. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake near southern Puerto Rico hit just off the coast of towns including Guánica and Guayanilla, where hundreds of homes were destroyed by a quake in early January that killed one person and caused millions of dollars in damage. The quake jolted many from their beds but there were no immediate reports of casualties.
Reports of damage were trickling in. At least one second-story balcony crashed in the southern city of Ponce, spokeswoman Inés Rivera told The Associated Press. Cracks in homes were reported in Guayanilla. “Everything shook really hard,” spokesman Danny Hernández said by phone. Guánica Mayor Santos Seda told the AP that no major damage was immediately reported – though some building sustained damage. “Thank God everyone is OK,” he said. “The infrastructure is already weak.”
Meanwhile, no damage or injuries were immediately reported from the magnitude 6.0 earthquake near Crete. The Athens Geodynamic Institute said that quake occurred Saturday at 3:51 p.m. local time and was centered 63 kilometers – 39 miles – away from the coastal town of Ierapetra at a depth of 15 kilometers – 9 miles. The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre said there were reports the quake was felt in Egypt. Greece is located in a highly seismically active area and experiences hundreds of quakes each year. Saturday’s quake was stronger than most but took place relatively far from populated areas.