When a 6.5 magnitude earthquake rattled the northern coast of Puerto Rico on Sunday night, Hartford resident were concerned for their family members on the island.
Hartford is home to the country’s fifth largest Puerto Rican population and local residents were filled with fear.
“I have a lot of family over there from my father’s side” Carlos Ortiz said. “So I’m just waiting to see if someone calls over here to tell me what happened and if they are OK.”
Ortiz runs a Puerto Rican bakery on Park Street, but he was born on the island. Even after hearing reports of no injuries and only minor damage, he is worried.
“My family lives pretty far from the ocean, but still I have fear because houses over there are made up of bricks and they crack easily,” Ortiz said.
Many Hartford residents said they did not find out about the earthquake until they checked Facebook and saw their newsfeeds were filled with posts from relatives.
“Everyone is posting to make sure that everybody is fine,” Sergio Valentin said. “Everybody is just trying to get in touch with everyone from the island.”
Even though they are far from Puerto Rico, they are hoping the earthquake does not trigger something worse.
“I would say my biggest concern is the tsunamis,” Ortiz said. “Like if what happened in other places happened there, then a lot of people would be affected. It’s a small island.”
So far no tsunami warning has been issued.