Puerto Rico

Puerto Ricans Left Wondering After Quake Reduces Businesses, Schools to Rubble

"I'm devastated."

NBCUniversal, Inc.

In just a matter of minutes, a young Puerto Rican business owner's years of hard work and sacrifice came crashing down.

Genoveva Quinones owns Taco Maker and Antonino's Pizza in Guánica, a southern coastal town that was hit the hardest by Tuesday's magnitude 6.4 earthquake.

The businesses were reduced to rubble throughout a series of quakes that have been rocking the island for days. Quinones, 33, opened Antonino's Pizza only six months ago.

“Years of sacrifices gone in minutes” - GenovevaHer 2 Guánica restaurants look like this. We’re standing on what used...

Posted by Sheli Muñiz on Wednesday, January 8, 2020

"Years of sacrifice gone in minutes," she told NBC 6.

Families in Puerto Rico's coastal towns spent the night in cots, cars and other makeshift beds away from their damaged homes. The possibility of another strong earthquake forced some to sleep outdoors.

Twelve-year-old Ryan Morales was supposed to come back to school Wednesday, the first day back from winter break. Instead, he came back to see what was left of his school - a collapsed, three-story building and pieces of classrooms.

"I'm devastated," he said. "I'm sad because I had so much fun memories in here, like, we were just with my friends hanging out, running around."

The seventh-grader had just returned after taking off for a farther city where continuous tremors are less jarring.

"People lost jobs because of this," Morales said. "Classrooms are just crushed. Cafeteria - is literally just the roof. I'm pretty sad."

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