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  • Writer's pictureTania Wee

Puerto Rico earthquakes destroy landmark Punta Ventana

A popular tourist landmark in Puerto Rico, Punta Ventana, was destroyed in the Puerto Rico earthquakes Monday, according to the Miami Herald and The New York Times.

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 beachside rock formation was located in the town of Guayanilla and is aptly named Punta Ventana (or "Window Point") as it resembles a stone window that looks out to a beautiful view of the ocean behind it. According to The Times, Mayor Nelson Torres Yordán said "it finally fell" on Monday after the formation started to look vulnerable after smaller temblors began hitting the area a week earlier. Denniza Colon, a 22-year-old resident of Guayanilla, told the 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"

Sources: Danico Coto, The Associated Press, MSN

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