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National Guard supporting earthquake relief in Puerto Rico

By National Guard Bureau | Jan. 16, 2020

ARLINGTON, Va. – More than 1,000 Army and Air National Guard members continue to provide disaster relief support to Puerto Rico in the wake of a series of earthquakes that have battered the island.

Base camps are operating in Yauco, Guanica, Penuelas, Guayanilla and Ponce. More emergency shelters that can provide shelter for as many as 1,500 displaced residents will be set up in Guayanilla and Guanica.

So far, the Puerto Rico National Guard has helped deliver more than 91,000 meals and 800,000 bottles of water and set up temporary emergency shelters that include showers, laundry facilities, latrines, water purification systems and generators. Guard units are also helping assess the damage and providing security in multiple locations.

National Guard members from a few other states have also arrived to help, as the Guard works to support the local government, FEMA and other partners.

The Puerto Rico National Guard was activated Jan. 7 by Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck the region at 4:24 a.m. The earthquake was one of hundreds of temblors, beginning with a 4.7 magnitude quake Dec. 28, to shake southwest Puerto Rico.

One death was reported, along with widespread damage and power outages.