NASA reported Friday that the quakes had moved the land in parts of southern Puerto Rico as much as 5.5 inches (14 centimeters), based on satellite images before and after the temblors.
Retired Division Chief Mike Boyle, Battalion Chief Steve Dohman and Flight Operations Member John Keesee were deployed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist in Puerto Rico shortly after an quake in 6.4 magnitude at 4:24 am Atlantic Standard Time, January 7, Battalion.
Permanent lowering of the ground's surface often occurs during earthquakes. Saturday's natural disaster occurred four days after a 6.4 magnitude quake in the same area. Since then aftershocks, majority barely perceptible, have been part of daily life on the island.
Damage from the latest quake is seen above on Saturday. It is likely that there will be smaller earthquakes over the next 1 Week, with 40 to 230 magnitude 3 or higher aftershocks. On Saturday, Gov. Wanda Vázquez signed a major disaster declaration and said she was sending $12 million dollars to hard-hit municipalities. In the last two years, OES has deployed teams to assist Florida and SC after they sustained devastating hurricane damage.
Puerto Rico - a US territory - is squeezed between the North America and Caribbean tectonic plates and low-level seismic activity is common.
On Dec. 28, the USGS recorded two quakes of magnitude 4.7 and 5.0.
Velazquez, along with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and New York's Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter earlier this week to HUD Secretary Ben Carson demanding the outstanding $8.3 billion be released to Puerto Rico immediately to help with the recovery after the quake.
Puerto Rican Queens-Brooklyn Rep. Nydia Velazquez said HUD's own inspector general recently concluded there's no evidence to suggest Puerto Rico can't properly handle the funds, according to the Daily News.