Business View Caribbean | January 2020

11 BUSINESS VIEW CARIBBEAN JANUARY 2020 OPENING L INES A t least one person is said to have been killed when a 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit Puerto Rico on Jan. 7th, following a 5.8 magnitude quake the day before. And the Seismic Research Centre (SRC) at the University of the West Indies’ St Augustine Campus in Trinidad and Tobago says the region must be prepared. The 6.4 quake struck at 4:24 a.m., with its centre located about 8 km south of the southern town of Indios, and was followed by several aftershocks, including two of magnitude 5.6. Power outages and damage have been reported, including in the city of Ponce, where 73-year-old Nelson Martínez was killed when an inner wall that was under construction in his house collapsed. There has been structural damage to roads and bridges, especially in the southwestern part of the island. EARTHQUAKE JOLTS REGION AS PUERTO RICO CONTINUES TO FEEL AFTERSHOCKS Governor Wanda Vázquez has signed an order to declare an islandwide state of emergency. “We’ve never been exposed to this kind of emergency in 102 years,” she said, even as she urged residents to stay calm. Government offices and schools were closed, as well as some hospitals in the island’s southwestern region. Vázquez asked public employees to stay home while authorities assess the damages. “Citizen security is a priority, so vulnerable areas are being inspected and all necessary measures will be taken to ensure the safety of all Puerto Ricans,” she said. As regional experts and disaster officials