Earthquake rattles Puerto Rico

A moderate earthquake struck Puerto Rico early Sunday, damaging some houses in western and northern towns and causing a rock slide on a highway. No one was reported injured.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude-5.8 earthquake struck at 1:16 a.m. (0516 GMT) Sunday about four miles (six kilometres) from the small community of Espino on the western side of the U.S. Caribbean island and 63 miles (101 kilometres) from the capital, San Juan, where it was felt by high-rise dwellers.

It was recorded at a depth of 67 miles (113 kilometres), according to the USGS. The quake cracked the concrete foundations of a few buildings in the towns of Florida, Lares, Moca, Utuado and Vega Baja, according to Puerto Rico’s emergency management agency.

Agency spokeswoman Melina Simeonides said the quake also spilled rocks over a highway in Utuado, where it also shifted a concrete house some four inches from its foundation.

Engineers were trying to determine if other damaged homes were safe. Local authorities on Sunday were monitoring coastal areas close to the epicenter and evaluating the damage.

Officer Guidiberto Torres Valle with the Moca Police Department said some parts of the city lost power, but service was quickly restored. The Municipal Hospital in the city of Cayey treated a woman suffering from anxiety caused by the earthquake but no other injuries. Araceli Vega, a nurse in the hospital, told CNN that she was treating a patient when she felt the building rattle, followed by a short moment of fear and confusion.

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