NEW YORK (CBS News/CBSNewYork) – For days a series of devastating earthquakes have been rocking Puerto Rico, starting with a 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck before dawn on Jan. 7 and was followed three hours later by an aftershock measuring 6.0.
They have been the largest in a series of quakes that have struck the U.S. territory in recent days and caused heavy damage in some areas.
Puerto Ricans sleep in the streets, on mountaintops and in tents now because anywhere feels safer than their homes. Some still stand, others were destroyed by recent quakes.
Ponce Laspina, director of El Maestro Inc. in New York’s South Bronx, speaks of his family in Ponce, an area hit especially hard.
“Like most of the island, they’re afraid, they are scared,” he said. Laspina is coordinating the collection of goods to ship to the island. “We make sure it gets to the right people in Puerto Rico.”
Dr. Luis Rodriguez, CEO of the non-profit Puerto Rican Family Institute, is also calling on the community to help.
“We are creating a backpack what they call an emergency backpack,” he said, each filled with first aid supplies, toiletries, flashlights and batteries.
Here are some ways to help:
- Puerto Rican Family Institute: prfiorg.com
- El Maestro, Inc.: On Facebook
- American Red Cross: redcross.org
- United Way: unitedway.org
- Catholic Charities: link
- Salvation Army: salvationarmy.org
- Hispanic Federation: link
- Estoy Con Puerto Rico: link
For more coverage of the earthquake and its aftermath from CBS News, click here.