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The Southern Political Science Association confirmed that its annual conference will still take place starting today in San Juan, Puerto Rico. That’s despite a major earthquake that hit the island Tuesday and a string of earlier, smaller earthquakes -- not to mention the ongoing reconstruction from 2017’s devastating Hurricane Maria. Bob Howard, executive director of the association, took to Twitter this week from Puerto Rico assure members that the conference hotel is safe and functional, and to encourage registrants to attend and support the island’s struggling economy.

"Everything is very safe here in San Juan. The epicenter is far south of San Juan. If we did not think [it was] safe, it, we would leave," Howard wrote. "Puerto Rico has been hurting and that has added to the exaggerated reporting. The island, hotel and city need our tourist dollars. They have stressed this to me in every meeting."