5.8-magnitude quake hit Puerto Rico before dawn Monday, unleashing small landslides, causing power outages and severely damaging some homes.
It was one of the strongest quakes yet to hit the U.S. territory that has been shaking for the past week.
There were no immediate reports of casualties.
Silvestre Alicea, a 66-year-old, who lost his home, said he took off as soon as he felt the tremor.
“I was able to get out of the house. The inside is fine. The only thing that fell was the column,” he said.
Another quake measured at magnitude 5.1 struck later Monday, at 10:51 a.m. (1451 GMT), shaking power lines and frightening residents of southern Puerto Rico who had been waiting outside their homes due to fears the buildings were damaged and unstable.
The first quake struck at 6:32 a.m. (1032 GMT) just south of the island.
Officials advise anyone in or near vulnerable structures to be extra cautious and said those caught in potential quakes should drop, cover and hold on.