Earthquake left local family waiting to hear from relatives

GAFFNEY, SC (WSPA) – Emotions from a devastated Mexico City are felt all the way here in the Upstate.

A local family says they spent hours without hearing from relatives after Tuesday’s earthquake.

“Yesterday, I cried because too long time I never had communication with my family,” said Carmen Fontaine. “My brothers are in different parts of Mexico City – nephews, nieces, all my family.”

The tears flowed when she talked about the catastrophic earthquake hitting her home country. She and daughter Liliana White tried reaching them in Mexico City as they watched the news from Gaffney.

“Nobody was connected. Lines were down,” said White. “Panicked and scared.”

(Photo Courtesy: Omar Martinez)

Hours later, they learned their relatives survived the earthquake.

“I talked with one of my cousins,” said White. “The school in front of him collapsed.”

White says the photos they’ve shared of crumbled buildings are tough to see, especially knowing how many lives have been lost.

“[I’m] shocked and sad, and just not being able to help,” she said. “I mean, there’s nothing you can do and those numbers keep rising.”

Fontaine remembers going through the other major quake on the same day in Mexico City in 1985. 32 years later, they say their relatives are joining so many others in doing what they can to help their neighbors

“Everybody is in shock but they’re not sitting down,” said White. “Went in and bought some water for the rescuers and were trying

(Photo Courtesy: Omar Martinez)

to help.”

White says it’s been a couple years since she’s visited Mexico City and just hopes more people can be rescued before it’s too late. The earthquake has already claimed more than 200 lives.

“My family is okay but my heart is sad for my people in Mexico,” said Fontaine.

They say their relatives’ homes had some minor damage, but their main concern is that their loved ones are okay.