MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A group of South Florida first responders are heading to Puerto Rico following a series of earthquakes and aftershocks.
South Florida Task Force 2 is sending a group of 45 people along with 90,000 pounds of equipment to the island.READ MORE: Python Removal Program Grows In Southwest Florida
The group is made up of City of Miami firefighters, along with other agencies from Broward and Palm Beach including K-9 units from Tampa.
“We will do onsite damage assessment, identify needs relative to initially life safety and infrastructure Miami Battalion Chief David Duenas said.
The crew is prepared to spend up to two weeks in the hardest hit areas on the island. That’s mainly the southern part.
“We did go to 9/11, multiple hurricanes, and the last earthquake we went to was in Haiti and now this one in Puerto Rico,” Asst. Miami Fire Chief Scott Dean said.
Early Tuesday morning, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit just south of the island. The day before, there was a 5.8 magnitude quake. They’re happening on three faults and it’s unclear when they’ll end or even if they’ll get stronger.
Officials and journalists on the island have reported one death and eight injuries, as of Tuesday night.READ MORE: Tracking The Tropics: Hurricane Sam Continues To Intensify
“There’s really very much damage in several houses and several municipalities,” Traveler Francis Rodriguez said.
People flying to Miami International Airport saw the damage and felt the quakes.
One Broward County resident and her family were on the southern part of the island visiting their relatives.
She spoke to CBS4 News over FaceTime about her experience.
“The room just started shaking. The bed started swaying from side-to-side and then very quickly vibrating,” Jisabelle Garcia-Pedroso said.
She and her loved ones have already been worried the last few days because of the previous tremors. Now, many people in the area aren’t taking any chances.
“You saw mattresses outside. Little kids sleeping on steps because everyone is every scared. The structures aren’t that sound after (Hurricane) Maria,” Garcia-Pedroso said.MORE NEWS: Miami Weather: Nice Saturday Morning Followed By Afternoon Showers
The Broward County resident who also works for the group “Food for the Poor” recommends waiting to hear from officials on what’s needed before donating.