A day after a 7.1 earthquake rocked Mexico City, a flight from there arrived at Austin Bergstorm International Airport. Some of the passengers detailed to FOX 7 the terrifying moments.
It's being called the country's deadliest quake in three decades. Mexican officials saying the death toll is at more than 230 but, that number is only expected to rise.
In Mexico City, they're searching for whatever signs of life they can beneath the rubble.
"People are underground, they are underground. Some people are trying to communicate with their loved ones so they can be rescued," says Ericka Lopez, from Mexico City.
Buildings falling left and right into dust and debris as a 7.1 magnitude earthquake strikes. Many dying in those collapses. Others were able to make it out.
Once a day a plane arrives to Austin Bergstrom International Airport from Mexico City. The people who got off that plane Wednesday say they will never forget the destruction they saw from the earthquake. Ericka Lopez was one of those passengers. She now lives in Austin - leaving behind her hometown, which is now a place she can hardly recognize. She showed us through pictures and videos what people went through.
"Then you start shaking, you don't know what to do. It's like you need to run, you need to get away, you need to see the sky because there are cables of electricity that they can fall," says Lopez.
Lopez was also in Mexico City in 1985 when a magnitude 8.0 earthquake rocked the region. Every year on September 19th cities there take part in emergency disaster simulations. No one ever thought on this anniversary they would actually have to face one.
"Someone started screaming, 'Es un temblor, es un temblor. It's an earthquake.' That's when we reacted. So we all got up and got to the wall and like I said, we had just had the simulation. We kind of knew what to do but at the same time, you get into panic mode," says Lopez.
The Mexican Consulate in Austin is assessing specific needs to see what can be offered in the days and weeks to come. He says right now, the priority is on the injured and those needing to be rescued.
"There's dozens of building damaged but it's not the widespread destruction that we saw in 1985. I think that speaks volumes on more than two decades of strengthening the construction standards in Mexico City," says Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez.
The Mexican Consulate says the best thing you can do to help right now is donate funds to the Mexican Red Cross.