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Puerto Rico declares state of emergency following deadly earthquakes

Earthquakes have been happening on the island since Dec. 28, and three quakes hit Tuesday just hours apart.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The governor of Puerto Rico has signed a state of emergency for the island following a series of earthquakes.

Wanda Vázquez Garced signed the state of emergency Tuesday morning, activating the National Guard for Puerto Rico. 

Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, both of Florida, and Rep. Jenniffer González-Colón sent a letter to President Donald Trump in support of the governor's request for a disaster declaration.

Congressmembers urged Trump to make sure federal resources are being made available to those living in Puerto Rico. 

"It will be of great relief to the people of Puerto Rico to have the disaster support of the White House," they wrote in the letter.

CBS News David Begnaud reports Trump signed the disaster declaration request late Tuesday evening.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said Trump has been briefed on the earthquakes, and FEMA leaders have been in touched with Gov. Vázquez.

Several earthquakes rocked Puerto Rico Tuesday morning, along with numerous aftershocks.

The first hit around 3:24 a.m. and had a magnitude of 6.4. The second happened 10 minutes later with a magnitude of 5.6. And, around 6:20 a.m., another hit with a magnitude of 5.8, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

An Associated Press reporter based in Puerto Rico reported a 73-year-old man was killed after a wall collapsed on him after the earthquake. The mayor of Ponce, near the quake's epicenter, said at least eight other people have been injured.

RELATED: Reports: 1 person dead after earthquakes shake Puerto Rico

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Vázquez said Tuesday afternoon that $130 million in emergency aid has been made available. She also asked that everyone on the island remain calm and prepare for any future quakes.

She said about 300,000 homes didn't have running water and several hundred people were in shelters. Vázquez also said she had not yet spoken with President Trump Tuesday afternoon.

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