Locals with family in Chile struggle to keep in contact

By Yvette Yeon - bio | email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - With power lines down in widespread regions of Chile, Richmond residents had a hard time reaching relatives in the quake zone.

In Glen Allen, Carolina Dalencon spoke with her brother just after the initial quake ended.

She says he's staying in the Chile's capital city Santiago.

"It was very sad actually because he said: hey, we just had an earthquake! I'm calling you right now because you probably are not going to be able to communicate with us later on. When he was talking he was like: Oh oh! Mom we've got to go out. It was very stressful."

Although miles from the hardest hit region, Carolina's relatives in Santiago have been stuck with no water and electricity.

She's says they're now waiting for the government's instructions.

"A lot of people keep bottles of water, extra clothing ready to do it because we know it can happen at anytime," said Carolina.

Now living in the Richmond metro area, Carolina and her friends remember what it was like in Chile.

"It's much like here," said Angela Prado. "We go through fire drills, tornado drills. We also go through earthquake drills."

Prado already had plans to visit Chile in two weeks.

Now, she can only hope the airports will be up and running.

"When there's devastation like this I would hope that the world can open up their hearts to help the people of whatever country is in need of help," she said.

Angela says she is confident the country will recover quickly.

"I think they will do a good job in handling this, making sure that the country gets back on their feet and moves forward," she said.

While family members say they weren't able to reach loved ones by phone at all the social network website Facebook helped them contact some of their friends and family.

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