Iconic natural wonder Punta Ventana collapses in Puerto Rico amid 5.8 magnitude earthquake
GUAYANILLA, Puerto Rico - A beachside rock formation known as Punta Ventana collapsed after a 5.8-magnitude earthquake hit Puerto Rico before dawn Monday.
The natural wonder, located along Puerto Rico’s southern coast in the town of Guayanilla, was shaped like an arch offering a picturesque view of the ocean.
Punta Ventana, or Window Point, had begun to look vulnerable after previous temblors hit the area, Mayor Nelson Torres Yordán told the New York Times.
On Monday, Yordán told the newspaper, “it finally fell.”
Punta Ventana, or Window Point, is pictured in a 2015 file image next to a photo of the site following the earthquake. (Photo by RICARDO ARDUENGO/AFP via Getty Images)
Denniza Colon, a 22-year-old resident of Guayanilla, told the Miami Herald that she went by the area after the quake and was shocked to find the arch had vanished. Colon said she had visited Punta Ventana frequently as a child.
“This is really sad,” she told the newspaper. “It was one of the biggest tourism draws of Guayanilla.”
Glidden Lopez, a spokesman for the Guayanilla municipality, also confirmed the damage in a Facebook post.
“Today our icon remains in the memory of all,” according to a Spanish translation.
The quake, which struck at at 6:32 a.m. local time, unleashed small landslides — causing power outages and severely cracking 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.
The quake was followed by a string of smaller temblors, including another quake measured at magnitude 5 that struck later Monday, at 10:51 a.m., 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 hit just south of the island at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles), according to the U.S. Geological Service. There was no tsunami threat, officials said.
This story was reported from Cincinnati. The Associated Press contributed.