More than 100 earthquakes have struck Puerto Rico and surround areas in recent days; fortunately, there is no tsunami threat at this time. Of the 115 earthquakes to strike the area in the last week, 17 struck in the last 24 hours, with most clustered around southwestern Puerto Rico.
These earthquakes aren’t far from the epicenter of a strong earthquake that hit in January 2020. That 6.4 created extensive damage in Puerto Rico, including widespread power failures across much of the island. An earthquake swarm started here in December 2019 and unrest has continued since.
These earthquakes are occurring near the northern edge of the Caribbean Plate, a mostly oceanic tectonic plate underlying Central America and the Caribbean Sea off of the north coast of South America. The Caribbean Plate borders the North American Plate, the South American Plate, the Nazca Plate, and the Cocos Plate. The borders of these plates are home to ongoing seismic activity, including frequent earthquakes, occasional tsunamis, and sometimes even volcanic eruptions.
Fortunately, the earthquakes for now have been tame enough not to create a tsunami. The strongest, a 3.1 which struck last night, wasn’t strong enough to generate any tsunami threat for Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, or the U.S. East Coast.