Puerto Rico hit with 6.4 magnitude earthquake, islandwide blackout reported
A 6.4 magnitude earthquake was registered off the coast of Puerto Rico on Tuesday, killing at least one person and causing an island-wide blackout.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake hit just south of the island at 4:24 a.m. at a shallow depth of roughly six miles. A tsunami warning was not issued.
At least one person has died in the quake. Teacher Rey González told the Associated Press that his uncle was killed when a wall collapsed on him at the home they shared. He said 73-year-old Nelson Martínez was disabled and that he and his father cared for him.
Eight people were injured in the city of Ponce, near the epicenter of the quake, Mayor Mayita Meléndez told WAPA television.
Australia Wildfires Have Claimed 25 Lives And Will Burn For Months, Officials Say
Australia’s government is offering new help to people who have lost their homes and others affected by bushfires that have burned millions of acres of land. At least 25 people have died in the fires, which have brought historic levels of destruction.
While conditions improved slightly over the weekend, forecasters warn that dangerously hot and windy conditions will likely return later this week.
At least 19 deaths have been reported in New South Wales, with several other fatalities in both Victoria and South Australia. Fire officials in New South Wales said Monday morning that 69 fires remained uncontained, with a total of 136 fires in the state.
The fires will continue to burn for months to come, officials say. But the bushfires have exacted a staggering environmental toll.
The Australian fires are a harbinger of things to come. Don’t ignore their warning
Australia is a fire continent. Imagine California on the scale of the 48 contiguous states, but drier, more routinely kindled and with winds that can transform large swathes of land into a veritable fire flume. From time to time, its simmering flames boil over into seeming tsunamis of fire.
And Australia has a culture to match. It has institutions to study, fight and light fire. It has a literature of fire, a folklore of fire and a fire art that is continuous from Indigenous bark paintings to modernist musings. It has special bushfire collections at its museums. It has a fire politics: on three occasions conflagrations have sparked royal commissions, and from 2009 to 2017, 51 official inquiries.
The worst fires have acquired names and become historical milestones, such as Red Tuesday (1898), Ash Wednesday (1983), Black Christmas (2001), Black Saturday (2009).
Now they are joined by the as-yet unnamed megafires of 2019-20. Call them the Forever fires, for they seem inextinguishable, burning with implacable insistence and smoke palls that extend their reach far beyond the flames’ grasp.
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