Jan 13, 2020

Obama urges help for Puerto Rico after back-to-back quakes

Former President Obama speaks at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago in October. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Former President Obama tweeted an appeal Sunday for people to support Puerto Rico's recovery following a series of earthquakes that have rocked the island, killing at least one person.

Why it matters: Puerto Rico's governor declared a state of emergency last Tuesday. President Trump has approved a federal disaster declaration request after two earthquakes measuring magnitudes of 6.4 and 5.8 struck — displacing many people and leaving much of the island without power. Aftershocks have since hit, and there was a magnitude 5.2 quake Friday.

Go deeper: In photos: Puerto Rico in state of emergency after back-to-back quakes

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Trump admin restricts Puerto Rico disaster relief funds as earthquakes persist

A man rides his bicycle in Guanica, Puerto Rico on Jan. 15. Photo: Ricardo Arduengo/AFP via Getty Images

The Trump administration reportedly followed through on its plan to limit Puerto Rico's hurricane disaster relief funds on Wednesday, the New York Times reports.

Yes, but: In response to back-to-back earthquakes that began in late December, President Trump upgraded his assessment of the island's situation from an "emergency" to a "major disaster" on Thursday — authorizing FEMA and Homeland Security to provide assistance on the ground.

Go deeperArrowJan 17, 2020

Puerto Rico hit by magnitude-5.0 earthquake

Workers clean the debris from the Immaculate Conception Church after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit Guayanilla, Puerto Rico on Jan. 11. Photo: Pedro Alejandro Granadillo Hernanadez/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A magnitude-5.0 earthquake struck the southern coast of Puerto Rico Saturday, per the U.S. Geological Survey.

The big picture: Gov. Wanda Vázquez declared a state of emergency on Jan. 7 after two earthquakes measuring magnitudes of 6.4 and 5.8 hit the U.S. territory. The island has been rocked by a series of tremors since.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 26, 2020

Michael Bloomberg endorses Puerto Rico statehood

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Michael Bloomberg's 2020 campaign released a plan Monday backing statehood for Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory.

Why it matters: Other candidates "have tip-toed around the issue of Puerto Rican statehood, saying they want Puerto Ricans to decide whether or not the U.S. territory becomes the country’s 51st state," the Miami Herald writes.

Go deeperArrowJan 27, 2020