Houstonians try to reach loved ones in Mexico after deadly earthquake

Houstonians with loved ones in Mexico are desperately trying to get ahold of family members and friends after a massive earthquake killed more than two hundred people.

HOUSTON - The devastating earthquake in Mexico City has now claimed at least 230 lives, CBS reports. That number continues to grow amid non-stop rescue and recovery efforts.

Many people here in Houston are still trying to reconnect with their relatives in Mexico City.

“It’s something so terrible,” said Carmen Diaz. “We’ve got family we couldn’t communicate with.” On Wednesday she told us her family back in Mexico is okay, but their house is not.

“My cousin’s house,” said Diaz.  “A pillar fell on top of the roof.”

People are turning to the Mexican Consulate in Houston for help getting information about the quake, its victims, and ways to assist from afar.

“Every time there’s an earthquake in Mexico City, we get worried because we know our family can be very much affected,” said Cesar Espinosa.

Espinosa helps run the immigrant rights group, FIEL.

His mother gave birth to him in Mexico City two months after the 1985 earthquake, which struck exactly 32 years before this one.

“Even while she was giving birth to me, she had that worry in her mind that something would happen,” said Espinosa.

FIEL is among those calling for an international response to Mexico’s earthquake.

They’d like the type of aid we’ve seen after hurricanes and flooding in the states, including Houston.

“That folks come together, we help our neighbors, and that no political things come about in the midst of this tragedy,” said Espinosa.

It’s a tragedy Carmen Diaz and others hope their families pull through.

“We’re not sure what’s going to happen,” said Diaz.

Mexican Red Cross workers, who were in Houston helping with Harvey recovery, flew back home Wednesday morning to assist there.

Meanwhile, the American Red Cross and others are prepared to send more personnel and money to Mexico.

AT&T is offering free calls and texts from US to Mexico through September 21, 2017.

Here’s a statement provided by the Texas Gulf Coast Red Cross chapter:

The Mexican Red Cross has multiple teams assisting in search and rescue operations following yesterday’s deadly 7.1 magnitude earthquake in Mexico. Dozens of Mexican Red Cross teams are searching for survivors, transporting the injured to hospitals and providing first aid on the scene.

The states most affected are Morelos, Puebla, Mexico City and the State of Mexico. The Mexican Red Cross has deployed dozens of doctors and nurses, alongside more than 90 ambulances and its urban rescue unit.

In all, more than 500 volunteers and employees were activated in the hours immediately following the disaster. 17 urban rescue units, ambulances and logistic units will arrive today with more almost 70 more volunteers and staff.

The American Red Cross works closely with the Mexican Red Cross to provide humanitarian aid and assistance during large emergencies. Disaster specialists at the American Red Cross are monitoring the situation closely, remain in close contact with colleagues at the Mexican Red Cross, and are on standby to assist. As in all international disasters, the American Red Cross intervenes when the national society (in this case, the Mexican Red Cross) requests outside help.

Recent disasters, like Hurricane Maria and the earthquake in Mexico, have left many across the world looking for their loved ones, and the Red Cross is here to help.

- If you are looking for a U.S. citizen affected by recent international disasters, please contact the U.S. Department of State Office of Overseas Citizens Services at 1-888-407-4747 or go online here.

- If you live in the United States and are looking for non-U.S. citizen family members affected by Hurricane Maria in the French and Dutch territories, and British Virgin Islands, please visit www.familylinks.icrc.org to find more information.

- If you are seeking information about non-U.S. citizen family members in Mexico who have been missing since the recent earthquake, please visit www.redcross.org/FamilyLinks, or call the American Red Cross Restoring Family Links Helpline at 844-782-9441.

- During and after large, devastating disasters such as Hurricane Maria, connectivity can be a challenge. If you’ve put a request in with American Red Cross or the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, please continue to virtually reach out to your friends and family.

- Keep trying to reach out by calling during off-peak hours, and continue to send text messages and emails. Continually check social media for updates. 

- Contact other family members or neighbors who live nearby who may be able to provide you with information.
 

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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