The impact of Tuesday’s deadly earthquake in central Mexico reverberated back to Chicago, where many residents had loved ones who were caught in the destruction.
Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza’s mother was sitting on a couch while visiting Mendoza’s aunt at her home in Cuernavaca, about 50 miles south of Mexico City, when the tremors began.
“Everything fell down from the walls, water started coming up out of the toilet,” Mendoza said by phone Tuesday night. “They were scared to death, but they’re OK.”
Across the region, more than 200 people were killed, with the damage knocking out power and much of the cellphone coverage.
It wasn’t until a few hours after the quake that Mendoza was able to get through to her 82-year-old mother, who has the same name and lives in Chicago.
Her mother and aunt were “hunkering down” until Mendoza’s cousins could arrive to help evaluate the damage, she said. But Mendoza had yet to get through to other family members.
“It’s nerve-wracking. I’ll feel a lot better when we hear from them,” she said.
Tuesday’s earthquake fell on the 32nd anniversary of a quake in the region that left thousands dead around Mexico City.
“What a nightmare to live through again,” Pilsen resident Mateo Bartelas said while walking home from work Tuesday night.
As a teenager, Bartelas saw the 1985 earthquake’s devastation while visiting his grandparents outside Mexico City. Their home was leveled, but his family came out unscathed.
“They need God with them in Mexico City right now,” Bartelas said.