Situation Report: Earthquakes in Puerto Rico

January 9, 2020

Appeal Code: 628L


A series of earthquakes have shaken Puerto Rico in recent days. According to the U.S. Geologic Survey, more than 950 quakes or aftershocks have been recorded near the island since Dec. 31. The largest was a magnitude 6.4 earthquake on Tuesday morning, which damaged a major power plant and left many residents without electricity. As The New York Times reports, “More than two-thirds of Puerto Rico had no electricity on Wednesday in the wake of a powerful earthquake that damaged buildings across the southern part of the island and prompted thousands of people to sleep outside in yards and parking lots.”

The series of earthquakes has forced more than 300 Puerto Ricans to leave their homes to seek refuge elsewhere and has caused at least one death. Close to 300,000 people don’t have water service. Rocks have fallen onto roadways, and significant structural damage has been reported.

CWS Response

CWS has been engaged in disaster response activities in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria struck in 2017. In the wake of these earthquakes, we have been reaching out to denominational and local partners for status updates and to inquire about how we can support any needed recovery efforts. Once initial assessments are complete, we will have more information about our way forward.

We are prepared to respond with CWS Kits, Cleanup Buckets and Blankets as requested, and support local organizations in their own efforts. We also anticipate supporting longer term recovery efforts.

Our initial budget for this response is $100,000.

How to Help

Donations can be made online or sent to Church World Service (P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515). Please designate 628L Puerto Rico Earthquake Response.

To learn more about assembling CWS Kits, visit
To support the CWS Blanket ministry, visit