2 earthquakes rattle Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Two offshore earthquakes rattled Puerto Rico early Saturday and were also felt in the Dominican Republic.

The first measured 5.3 on the Richter scale and the second 5.1, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. Both were centered in the Mona Passage off the west coast of Puerto Rico, about 80 miles from San Juan.


The quakes occurred at about 2 a.m. AST (1 a.m. EST), when most residents were asleep.

While earthquakes of that magnitude are strong enough to cause major damage to badly designed buildings near the epicenter, no damage or injuries were reported.

"I was frightened for the first time in my life by an earthquake," a Mayaguez resident told the USGS.

"The first episode woke me up. The second I could feel the waves and hear my neighbors scream and shout out in fear. But luckily it was nothing to compare with Haiti's and other earthquakes."

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