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Puerto Rico very strong quake cut Seismic Network operations

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A very strong and shallow earthquake struck early Monday morning off Puerto Rico's north coast, cutting the Puerto Rico Seismic Network operations.

A 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck at sea off Puerto Rico's coast at a shallow depth of less than 19 miles early Monday, according to the US Geological Survey.

The quake hit some 56 km (35 miles) off the northern coast of the island.

San Juan, the capital, where 400,000 people live, is located on the same side of the island.

Power cuts occurred and were restored shortly after the quake. Due these power cuts, however, the Puerto Rico Seismic Network ceased operations a few seconds after the earthquake occurred, reports the EarthquakeReport.com

The quake north of Puerto Rico occurred as a result of oblique-thrust faulting, according to the EarthquakeReport.com.

"Preliminary faulting mechanisms for the event indicate it ruptured either a structure dipping shallowly to the south and striking approximately east-west, or a near-vertical structure striking northwest-southeast.

"At the location of this earthquake, the North America plate moves west-southwest with respect to the Caribbean plate at a velocity of approximately 20 mm/yr, and subducts beneath the Caribbean plate at the Puerto Rico Trench. The location, depth and mechanism of the earthquake are consistent with the event occurring on this subduction zone interface."

Initial tsunami advisories were cancelled.

Minor damage is reported from Puerto Rico. No injuries have been reported.

Puerto Rico's quake Monday has occurred almost exactly 4 years after a powerful 7.0-magnitude quake devastated Haiti, another Caribbean island nation.

The 2010 disaster took more than 100,000 lives and caused an ongoing humanitarian catastrophe in Haiti, one of the poorest nations in the world.

The late Hugo Chavez accused the United States government for the Haiti quake and resulting humanitarian catastrophe. He stated on television that the U.S. had used an earthquake weapon to cripple the country.

Sources: USGS, Russia Today, EarthquakeReport.com., Examiner

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