Puerto Rico earthquakes destroy tourist landmark Punta Ventana: reports

Puerto Rico earthquakes destroy tourist landmark Punta Ventana: reports

A popular tourist landmark in Puerto Rico, Punta Ventana, was destroyed in the Puerto Rico earthquakes Monday.. 

Additionally, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company confirmed in a statement to USA TODAY that two other sites, Cueva Ventana and Ruinas del Faro, also suffered irreparable damage.

A 5.8-magnitude quake hit the Caribbean island before dawn Monday, unleashing small landslides, causing power outages and severely cracking homes. It was one of the strongest quakes yet to hit the U.S. territory, which has been hit by temblors for the past week.

There were no immediate reports of casualties. 

The tourism company said no damage was reported in most other regions of the island. 

The head of the organization encourages tourists and locals to stay calm and review their action plans in case of emergencies.

The beachside rock formation was located in the town of Guayanilla and was aptly named Punta Ventana (or “Window Point”) as it resembled a stone window that looked out to a beautiful view of the ocean behind it.

An undated photo of Punta Ventana in Puerto Rico. It means "Window Point" as the rock formation resembles a stone window that looks out to a beautiful view of the ocean behind it.

According to The New York Times, Mayor Nelson Torres Yordán said “it finally fell” on Monday after the formation started to look vulnerable when smaller temblors began hitting the area a week earlier.

Denniza Colon, a 22-year-old resident of Guayanilla, told the Miami Herald that she was shocked when she saw the arch had vanished.

“This is really sad,” she told the outlet in a telephone interview. “It was one of the biggest tourism draws of Guayanilla.”

A tourism draw, indeed. Some of the over 16,000 Instagram results for the hashtag #Guayanilla feature shots of Punta Ventana.

Side-by-side images of the destruction are also being shared around social media, though USA TODAY was unable to verify the photos’ authenticity. 

User @savingpuertorico shared a post along with the caption: “One of Puerto Rico’s iconic natural wonders — a soaring stone arch along the southern coast known as Punta Ventana or Window Point — collapsed early Monday”

Contributing: Danico Coto, The Associated Press

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