Valley residents scramble to contact relatives after 7.1 magnitude earthquake strikes Mexico

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Katie Hernandez was just one of hundreds of Valley residents who spent hours tracking down loved ones to make sure they were okay. (KFSN)

A Central Valley family spent hours after the earthquake tracking down their loved ones to make sure they were okay.

Katie Hernandez is all smiles right now after getting off the phone with her sister-in-law who lives in San Mateo near Mexico City.

The two talked briefly about Tuesday's devastating earthquake that brought buildings to the ground.

"A lot of people were scared," she said. "She reclined against the wall, praying and said if it's God's will for it to happen, it's going to happen."

Over the phone, her sister-in-law described how frightening the 7.1 magnitude earthquake was while inside her home.

"It started swaying back and forth," she said. "The house swaying back and forth like it wanted to drop you down.House was jumpy and the trees were swaying a lot."

However, when it was over, the fear was still there. Many people including her sister-in-law's kids bracing for aftershocks on their way home from school.

"They were walking in the streets and several of the houses were taller, so they said everybody just walk in the middle of the road in case the houses come down, they don't hit you guys," she said.

Cell phone video shows people standing near structures collapsing and dozens fleeing the area as quick as they could. The footage though is hard for Hernandez' daughter Jaz to watch because the thought those people could be her relatives is still looming over her head.

"Luckily for us they are okay," Jaz said. "But knowing that there are families out there that their families are not okay, it's just like, 'Oh my gosh, we are so lucky.'"

They're lucky and grateful their loved ones survived an earthquake that has already claimed the lives of more than 100 people.

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If you have relatives in Mexico and have not been able to get in touch with them you can call the help line 1-855-463-6395.

If you have relatives in Mexico and have not been able to get in touch with them you can call the helpline 1-855-463-6395. Or the U.S. Embassy at 011-52-55-5080-2000.

Facebook has also set up their safety check and Google is helping people find loved ones as well with their "Person Finder" feature.
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