Puerto Rico's governor declares major disaster emergency

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A New Jersey native living in Puerto Rico spoke with News 12 Saturday amid aftershocks from a 6.4-magnitude natural disaster earlier this week.

Three members of the Orange County Fire Authority's urban search and rescue team were deployed to Puerto Rico to assist with rescue efforts after a series of earthquakes rocked the southern part of the island and caused power outages in the past week, authorities said.

Puerto Rico's southern coast has been rattled by a series of quakes since December 28 and was hit by the "mainshock", a magnitude 6.4, on Tuesday.

A big rock sits amid the rubble of the low wall it destroyed when it rolled down from a nearby cliff during a magnitude 5.9 quake in Guanica, Puerto Rico, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020.

"Here in California, we have some of the most talented and experienced emergency management staff in the world", Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci said in a statement. This has led one expert to label the infrastructure problem an "educational crisis".

In Puerto Rico, local communities are mobilizing to help in recovery efforts for those hardest hit by several large earthquakes over the past couple of weeks.

Vazquez is seeking a United States government disaster statement to release more federal funds.

Hundreds of quakes have shaken the island since the new year, though most were too slight to be felt.

Millions of Puerto Ricans are waiting to see if President Donald Trump will sign a major disaster declaration to authorize much needed aid.

The territory is still reeling from Hurricane Maria in 2017, which was the most destructive storm in the modern history of the island. Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the Trump administration's withholding of the funds is "illegal."

"California stands with the people of Puerto Rico", Governor Newsom said in the press release. Despite tweeting dozens of times in the past week, he hasn't mentioned the thousands of Americans suffering in Puerto Rico.

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