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Quake hits near Puerto Rico, some reports of damage

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A 5.5-magnitude earthquake hit near southern Puerto Rico on Saturday, jolting many from their beds on an island where some people still remain in shelters from previous quakes earlier this year. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake 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.

Reports of damage were still trickling in early Saturday morning, with at least one second-story balcony crashing in the southern city of Ponce, spokeswoman Inés Rivera told The Associated Press. Meanwhile, 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 has been reported so far.

“Thank God everyone is OK,” he said. “The infrastructure is already weak.”

He said between five to 10 people remain in a shelter since the 6.4-magnitude quake that hit in January.

The quake on Saturday knocked out power to people in the area.

Several aftershocks hit the area, including a 4.6-magnitude one.

The earthquake came as Puerto Ricans remain home under a nearly two-month lockdown to help curb coronavirus cases.

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