SAN JUAN — A magnitude 5.9 quake shook Puerto Rico on Saturday, causing millions of dollars of damage along the island’s southern coast, where previous quakes have recently toppled homes and schools.

The US Geological Survey said the 8:54 a.m. quake hit 8 miles southeast of Guanica. It was followed by several aftershocks, including a magnitude 5.2 temblor less than two minutes later.

No injuries or deaths were reported, officials said.

Saturday’s quake occurred four days after a 6.4 magnitude quake in the same area and amid a spate of more than 1,100 mostly small quakes over the past 15 days.


With damage now reaching $110 million after Tuesday’s quake, Governor Wanda Vázquez said she had signed an official disaster declaration asking the US government to clear the way for additional federal assistance. She also said the government would impose a consumer price freeze on gasoline, as well as emergency items such as water containers, sleeping bags, and tarps.

“It’s important that our citizens know that we need to stay calm,” she said at a news conference Saturday afternoon.

Vazquez said her administration was immediately releasing $2 million to six of the most affected municipalities.

As a result of Saturday’s quake, Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority said outages were reported across much of southern Puerto Rico and crews were assessing possible damage at power plants. Officials said they also were going back to reassess all structures previously inspected, given the strength of Saturday’s quake.

Deputy Mayor Elizabeth Ocasio in the southern coastal city of Ponce told the Associated Press that officials closed the city’s downtown area and two other nearby areas because of weakened infrastructure.

“One building completely collapsed,” she said. “There is a lot of historic infrastructure in Ponce.’’

Bárbara Cruz, who was in Ponce when the latest quake hit, said concrete debris hit the sidewalk as buildings continued to crumble.


More landslides and damaged homes were reported, along with severe cracks on a bridge in Guanica.

The quake, which initially had been calculated at magnitude 6.0, was the strongest shake since Tuesday’s magnitude 6.4 quake — the most potent to hit the island in a century.

That temblor killed one person, injured nine others, and damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes and several schools and businesses in the island’s southwest region.

More than 4,000 people have been staying in shelters, many fearful of returning to their homes, and others unable to because of extensive damage.

The director of Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority ordered the temporary closure of the company’s largest plant, which crews had been inspecting for damage caused by earlier quakes.

The ground in southwest Puerto Rico has been shaking since Dec. 28, with more than 1,100 earthquakes, of which more than 100 were felt and more than 66 were of magnitude 3.5 or greater.

NASA reported Friday that the quakes had moved the land in parts of southern Puerto Rico as much as 5.5 inches, based on satellite images before and after the temblors.

Material from The New York Times was used in this report.