The Portland-based nonprofit Mercy Corps has a team of about 30 people in Puerto Rico working to help communities recover after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit the region Tuesday.
Mercy Corps’ Puerto Rico team has been on the island offering aid since Hurricane Maria in 2017. In that time, Mercy Corps has worked to turn local community centers into “resilience hubs” with solar panels, emergency kits and disaster preparedness training.
“After the earthquake, we’ve been assessing the needs of the areas and the families there,” said Karla Peña, the director of Mercy Corps’ Puerto Rico team.
Through those already-established resilience hubs, Peña said, “we’ve been able to support them with water distribution and providing some services like access to energy through solar panels.”
In the coming days, Mercy Corps said it plans on distributing solar lanterns equipped with USB chargers and emergency money to families in Puerto Rico affected by the recent earthquake.
“Our focus is on finding harder-to-reach families who may be overlooked by other organizations and first responders,” the organization said in a statement.
Peña said Puerto Rico continues to experience aftershocks following the initial earthquake.