Mexico City native relives 1985 earthquake 32 years later

- For a Mexico City native in Detroit, the massive earthquake in her hometown has her concerned about friends and family in the city.

Claudia Vargas, like most of the world, watched as chaos ensued in Mexico City when a 7.1 magnitude earthquake tore through her hometown city. For her, it brought back a lot of painful memories from the huge earthquake that hit the city 32 years ago.

"I remember the walls breaking, the doors moving. The earthquake went (side to side and up and down)," Vargas said.

She was 14 at the time of that quake and was about move to West Bloomfield.

"Now I completely understand what my dad went through 32 years ago. He had just moved from Mexico, we were in Mexico City and he could not locate us," she said.

Mexicans dig through collapsed buildings as quake kills 225

Now, she knows the pain of trying to locate her loved ones after she spent all Wednesday trying to make sure everyone is alive and well. Her entire family still lives in the areas hardest hit by the quake.

"We were unable to reach some of my cousins and people are willing to go going door to door to help - strangers I've never seen," Vargas said. "You want to jump through your TV screen and help rescue your family and friends."

Her entire family is accounted for.

The death toll has already exceeded 200, including school children.

"I'm a mother and I have a college student and a high school student. I know that it's devastating."

She's hoping the generous spirit of Metro Detroit will help the families rebuild their lives. The non-profit Friends on Board Foundation and the Mexican Red Cross are accepting donations.

"We're going to need a lot of prayers for those who have gone through the devastating earthquake."

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Friends on Board Foundation.

RELATED: 21 children killed when school collapsed in Mexico quake

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