Satellites capture landscape changes in Puerto Rico due to earthquakes

Since December island nation of Puerto Roco has been hit by a series of earthquakes causing widespread damage to property and, power and water supply shortages. The largest of the quakes hit Puerto Rico in January 2017 with a magnitude of 6.6 leading to the destruction of countries famous natural wonder Punta Ventana.

Reports estimate minimum damages to the tune of $110 million and the destruction of around 600 buildings. The quakes have left the landscape of this country so altered that it is visible from the outer sky.

Team of researchers from NASA studied images captured by European Space Agency’s Copernicus Sentinel-1A satellite to determine the land alterations caused by the series of quakes.

NASA in their website reported that “The scientists found that the greatest displacement, from the flyover area, occurred west of the city of Ponce (identified by the green star), not far from the quake’s offshore epicentre.” 

According to these scientists, 5.5 inches (14 centimetres) of ground change was recorded in that area. NASA has said that they will be making their data and scientific expertise available to aid response and recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. 

Puerto Rico lies between the North American and Caribbean tectonic plates leaving it vulnerable to earthquakes. But even so, the January 7th’s quake was the biggest Earthquake to have hit them this century. Democracy Now reports that at least 5,000 people are still living in shelters. The tourism-dependent state has a lot of hurdles in front of them to recover from the impact of this calamity.


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button