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Unanswered Calls Worry SoCal Families With Loved Ones Near Mexico Quake

Thousands of SoCal residents with ties to Southern Mexico worry about the big quake's effects

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    NEWSLETTERS

    "We want to figure it out. We want to find out what the status is of our family," Alejandro Castro said, echoing the thoughts of thousands of SoCal families looking for confirmation that loved ones near a massive earthquake in Mexico were safe. (Published Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012)

    The Castro family waited nervously at their downtown Santa Ana bridal shop, hoping for good news from their relatives who live in Acapulco, Mexico, the biggest city close to the epicenter of Tuesday's magnitude 7.4 earthquake.

    "We want to figure it out, " said Alejandro Castro. "We want to find out what the status is of our family."

    Castro said he doesn't know what to think about such a strong earthquake striking an area he loves. It's the city where his brother lives.

    "There is no communication," Castro said before finally getting through to relatives, who were OK.

    Mina Madriles' brothers and sisters live near the epicenter in the town Ometepec, in the State of Guerrero. 

    "The fear is losing people you love," she said, with tears in her eyes. She, too, finally received good news later in the day.

    Sandra Aguilar's husband lives in the State of Guerrero. She didn't know about the earthquake until NBC 4's crew told her about it on the streets of Santa Ana. A phone call home reassured her that everyone was safe.

    Aguilar's husband told NBC 4 in a phone interview that the quake was very strong, but nobody he knew was injured.

    Katrina Rodriguez couldn't reach her grandmother, who she said lives in a city with aging buildings.

    "They're not sturdy, so I worry," Rodriguez said. "I hope everything is OK."

    Early reports of the large quake noted damaged buildings and collapsed homes, which made unanswered call that much more unnerving.

    "The building standards there in Mexico City, they aren’t like they are here," said Riverside resident Roland Gomez. "So with a quake like this, I worry it could be devastating."

    The Mexican Consul General in Orange County has reported that there were no widespread reports of injury or death, at least not yet.

    "People are scared but there basically is no damage in the cities or infrastructure," said Francisco Anza, with the consulate's office.

    Of course, early reports from quake zones can be misleading. The American Red Cross of Orange County was on standby to help out if the situation requires assistance.

    "It takes several hours to assess the situation and the damage," said Bridget Kelly of the American Red Cross, Orange County office. "They will reach out to us and we will be in constant contact."

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