There were no reports of injuries or major damage from the 6.4 magnitude temblor, which struck about 35 miles north of the island.
There were scattered reports of broken windows, burst water lines and cracks in buildings along Puerto Rico’s northern coast.
The shaking also caused buildings to sway in the capital of San Juan, about 60 miles from the epicenter.
Puerto Rico is frequently rattled by minor tremors, but major quakes are rare.
One of the strongest and most destructive was a 7.3 magnitude temblor in 1918, which unleashed a tsunami that killed 116 people.