Report on the Puerto Rico earthquake swarm
Starting on December 27, 2020, Puerto Rico has experienced the largest swarm of earthquakes since 1918. The total so far is over 2,500 with a 5.0 hitting as recently as this week. It has included a 6.4 and a number above 5.0 and 6.0. The image below shows a tally of these daily occurrences since December. The epicenter has been in the South Coast precisely around the Yauco region (site of one of Café Zumbador's farms and affecting both the residents of the area and their Adjuntas mill as well). The North side of the island as well as the East side have been relatively normal with very little damage. At present, the US federal government has declared 10 municipalities in the South Coast as disaster areas with funding in place to help municipal governments and individuals (up to $35,000 per destroyed house) in rebuilding. To date, over 9,000 people remain living in temporary housing due to the fear of the stability of their homes.
What has been the direct effect on coffee production?
Generally, most operational facilities, farms, and coffee trees are OK and not affected. The USGS estimates that the tremors will continue for some time and set the probability of a major event at 1%. We are hoping that the worst is behind us. Our partners in Puerto Rico Café Zumbador are proud and appreciative of the great support shown by the residents of the North Coast of the island to their fellow citizens in the South Coast. After surviving Hurricane Maria (2017), they know how to band together.
Wolthers & Associates Team