Earthquake in Mexico hits home for Toledo families

Published: Sep. 20, 2017 at 10:17 PM EDT
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Baldemar Velasquez spends a lot of his time in and around Toledo. But, the president of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, FLOC, does plenty of business in Mexico City.

"I go there maybe once, twice a year for business," he said.

Right now, parts of it are in ruins after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake.

"Early this morning, we texted our friends down there and thank God everyone is safe," Velasquez said.

But, he says there are plenty of people, right here in Toledo, who haven't heard from their loved ones.

"Six to ten thousand people have family and friends in all of those states who were affected by this earthquake," said Velasquez.

The deadly quake isn't the first for that area. But the location of the capital city made the situation much worse.

"It has very soft sediments and when seismic waves come under soft sediments, they get greatly magnified," Dr. Don Stierman, associate professor of geophysics at the University of Toledo said.

Dr. Stierman says, on top of that, many of the buildings that came crumbling down likely weren't built to withstand earthquakes.

"It's really sad to see those buildings collapse, causing an enormous amount of damage and devastating injuries," Stierman said.

Currently, search and rescue missions are still underway in the hopes of finding more survivors. More than 50 have already been rescued.

In the meantime, researchers like Stierman are working hard to learn more.

"I've seen a lot of advances that i thought were unattainable, and we're doing things I never thought we could do," he said.