A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck Puerto Rico at in the early morning hours of January 7, 2020. The earthquake marks the strongest in a string of escalating seismic activity that started on December 28, 2019. More than 200,000 people may require humanitarian assistance. International Medical Corps' Puerto Rico team is on-the-ground working to reach those most affected by the earthquake to provide emergency response care.
The earthquake was the strongest in a series of escalating earthquakes-all occurring along the fault lines in the southern part of the island, where most of Puerto Rico's power is generated. There is at least one death, eight people injured and more than 200,000 people reportedly requiring assistance. With damage and widespread power outages, facilities are being evacuated and shelters are being set up for displaced individuals. Many municipalities have declared a state of emergency.
At the request of Puerto Rico's Department of Health, International Medical Corps is deploying to the southern part of the island-the most affected area. As the needs continue to unfold, our teams are ready to provide health, relief supplies, and related services. We are also sending local volunteers trained in psychological first aid, as part of a program we started after the devastation of 2017's Hurricane Maria. Together we will provide psychosocial support to those impacted.
Training is a central pillar to our mission-International Medical Corps' response to the earthquake in Puerto Rico leverages the impact of those trained following the devastation of Hurricane Maria to build back better. Together we are increasing the local capacity to address the most urgent needs when a disaster hits. Across our work in Puerto Rico and around the world, we will continue to train local actors to prepare for emergencies as they make the journey from relief to self-reliance.