Western Massachusetts locals react to Puerto Rico earthquake damage

Hampden County

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) — The island of Puerto Rico continues to be battered with numerous earthquakes, killing at least one person.

Damage reports include island-wide power outages, businesses shut down, difficult travel due to the amount of debris on the roads, broken and shattered personal belongings, cracking home foundations, and small landslides.

Puerto Rico has been continuously hit with earthquakes since December 28th, and the ripple effects are being felt all the way here in western Massachusetts, in the hearts of locals.

“It’s sad. I have a bunch of family right now that’s in Puerto Rico. My step sisters, aunts, cousins, and… it’s scary. Because it’s just been one after another after another,” Jesse Castellano from Holyoke told 22News.

“There’s houses in pieces. And it’s all over Facebook. Stuff like that,” Noel Rivera from Northampton told 22News.

Rafael Rivera told 22News it’s especially hard to hear about the damage after the devastation from Hurricane Maria in September 2017. He called his mother-in-law in Puerto Rico Tuesday morning.

“No power at all. You know, everything is closed. No traveling either. They can’t travel nowhere. You know, so right now, they’re just at home,” said Rafael.

Tuesday morning, Congressman Richard Neal released a statement on the devastating news:

The First Congressional District of Massachusetts is home to one of the highest numbers of individuals of Puerto Rican descent in the entire country…The individuals impacted by these continued tremors are our neighbors, friends, and relatives…”

– Congressman Richard Neal

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