by Kiera Cerino
As communities around the world are affected by the damages that earthquakes cause, areas in the Caribbean have experienced the disastrous events firsthand. With over 2,000 earthquakes occurring throughout the beginning of 2020, the buildings damaged and lives lost show how disastrous the recent earthquakes have become.
With more severe earthquakes becoming more frequent at the start of 2020, the communities being affected and facing the catastrophes firsthand is increasing. As people have lost power, their homes, family members, or their pets, the damages have affected not only those living in the areas, but their families around the world as well.
“I have been personally affected by the earthquakes because I have family in Puerto Rico and not being able to be with them in this time of need is very frustrating. Not to mention, there are times when I can’t call them to see if they’re okay.” said sophomore Arianna Rivera.
Earthquakes occur when rock underground breaks along a fault and this sudden release of energy causes waves that make the ground shake. On Jan. 28, 2020, an earthquake with a 7.7 magnitude occurred in the Caribbean. Aftershocks were felt in Jamaica, Cuba, and South Florida. The aftershock in Florida caused eight buildings in Miami, Florida to be evacuated. There were no reports of any initial damage or cause of any deaths.
“Thankfully, my family and friends are okay.” said junior Kennedy Messado. “After the earthquakes, the community really came together and responded in an extremely supportive way for every island.”
On Jan.7, 2020, an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.4 occurred in Puerto Rico. It caused over $110 million in damages, damaged over 600 buildings and homes, and caused three deaths. It also caused a tsunami warning to be issued for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands that were revoked later.
“My family in Puerto Rico has lost power and parts of their houses, and they are being forced to live in a two bedroom home. It’s breaking my heart.” said sophomore Jessica Perez. “Puerto Rico is still part of us and the surrounding islands deserve all of the support and care they can get.”
As communities around the world have contributed to aiding the restoration of the affected Caribbean countries, they have sent items and fundraised. The Caribbean governments have also gotten involved by issuing advisories to ensure that their citizens stay safe. As the earthquakes continue to progress and become more frequent, the affected areas can take action to prepare themselves for future damages.
“Many places now know sudden earthquakes can be and how badly they can affect us all. I think political leaders in the other islands are trying to find ways to be much more prepared and at least have more resources ready in case earthquakes of this severity hit again.” said Perez.