Expert says back-to-back earthquakes rocking the Caribbean are no surprise

Reporter: Stephanie Byrne
Published: Updated:
A crack caused by an earthquake on Monday, January 6, is seen in La Guancha boardwalk in Ponce, Puerto Rico. ( RICARDO ARDUENGO/AFP/AFP via Getty Images)

Earthquakes hit back to back in the Caribbean Tuesday, with one so powerful we even felt it here in Florida!

But with this wave of quakes hitting the area, you have to wonder: Why? One expert told us, this pattern isn’t a surprise.

The earthquakes came just weeks apart shaking up Puerto Rico, Jamacia and even Miami.

Here in Cape Coral, Buen Provecho owner Elmer Passapera takes matters into his own hands; but he’s not alone.

“We started the collection just a little over, maybe three weeks ago,” he said. He’s collecting donations like sleeping bags, cots and bedsheets for earthquake victims in Puerto Rico where he grew up.

Florida Southwestern State College’s Doctor Joseph van Gaalen says this is a common area for earthquakes.

“It’s part of the Caribbean Plate which lines up against the North American Plate,” he said.

As for the back-to-back quakes, van Gaalen says it’s “really more akin to when something goes bump in the night, or whatever, and it shakes a book off of the shelf, then another book next to it will slide over because you got that initial movement.”

As for what’s next, that’s difficult to say.

“We can tell you there’s increases in possibilities of certain areas, but it’s extremely dangerous when you start to think about predicting anything of this nature,” van Gaalen said.

And while earthquakes shook communities across the Caribbean, they won’t shake the human spirit.

“We’re very resilient people and we fight back and we’re very positive, we’re strong,” Passapera said.

Van Gaalen says there are up to 150 earthquakes a day around the world.

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