A magnitude 5.9 earthquake at 8:54 AT Eastern Time struck an area 13 kilometers (8.1 miles) southeast of Guanica in Puerto Rico, less than a week after a 6.4 magnitude quake in the same region caused widespread property damage and disruption to the lives of its citizens. This is the latest in a chain of more than 1,000 earthquakes that have continued to shake the island since late December 2019.
An island territory of the United States, as of 2020 Puerto Rico has a population of 3.41 million, with a median income of about $20,000 USD, compared to more than $50,000 in the continental United States. The poverty rate is above 40% and the territory has more than $70 billion in debt, which has created a financial crisis that has plagued the area for years. The latest series of earthquakes places additional strain on an infrastructure that is already strained through this crisis, and affects a population that has been struggling. In particular, the western part of the island, closer to the earthquakes epicenter, has significantly higher concentrations of poverty and unemployment than the area around San Juan, the capital.
If you are interested in providing financial assistance to help with this situation, our recommended charity organization for this specific incident is Direct Relief. Based on historical performance and tax filings, the majority of your contribution will go directly towards assisting the people affected by this disaster.