A Suncoast Resident began his day in the wake of an earthquake in Puerto Rico
SARASOTA - A six-point-four magnitude earthquake strikes Puerto Rico early Tuesday morning. Tremors rocked Puerto Rico leaving residents with power outages, damaged homes, and landslides.
Suncoast resident, Melvin Tirado, felt the shudders of the earthquake as he came from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Sarasota.
"I woke up today at 4:30, cause I heard my dad and my aunt screaming," Melvin Tirado said. "When I got out of the room, my dad was there, and he was like did you felt the earthquake?”
He didn’t really feel it until he got to the airport.
"I was getting to the part where I had to pass TSA," Tirado said. "And then it started shaking the ground and all that stuff.”
Melvin Tirado said there was about a thirty minute delay in the flights. The Puerto Ricans at the airport remained calm amiss the tremors.
"In the airport, everybody was like chill," Tirado said. "Nobody was stressed, they were just like (shocked face), ‘wow, it’s shaking,’ but nothing crazy.”
While it didn’t affect those in the airport much, other families felt it more. For Rafael Arguelles’s family, residing in Ultuado Lago de Caonilla, they had to evacuate the area. They are surrounded by mountains.
"There’s a little bit of landslides here and there from the earthquake," Rafael Arguelles said. "So everybody is going to flat areas, away from the mountains. So, they went to the center of the city of Ultuado where it’s flat.”
The city is out of power and running on generators.
Luckily, for Arguelles, everyone in his family is ok. But, he is still concerned for them.
"That’s my family so, yea (choked up)," Arguelles said. "Those are my aunts, my uncles, my cousins, everybody’s out there.”
He hopes everything works out. As a message to his family in Puerto Rico, he says:
"Lo amo y mi patia, mi Tierra, I miss it, and my heart is over there.” Arguelles said.
He translated this to mean he will always love his homeland no matter where is he living.
"It’s the land where I was born, it’s my heritage, and my love, and my heart is out there on the island," Arguelles said. "No matter, my body is here, but my thoughts and my heart is in the island.”
This earthquake is reported as one of the largest to hit Puerto Rico since 1918, when a magnitude 7.3 quake struck near the island’s northwest coast.