Rockford woman reacts to earthquakes impacting family in Puerto Rico

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Hundreds of families lost their homes in the strongest earthquake to hit Puerto Rico in more than 100 years. 23 News met with a local woman whose loved ones have been sleeping in a car during the quakes.

"It's your family and it hurts you feel their pain," said Adelina Martinez, family lives in Puerto Rico.

Martinez is heartbroken since Tuesday’s 6.4 magnitude earthquake rocked Puerto Rico where her brother and sisters currently live.

"My brother’s home suffered on the foundation, cracking and so he has two small children and he was afraid so he decided to leave the home my sister Emilia I had the opportunity last night to speak with her and she and her family slept in their car last night," Martinez said.

Martinez says the hardest part is not being able to help her family.
"I just wish that I could do something, I wish I could be closer, I wish I could go," Martinez said.

League of United Latin American Citizens of Rockford is doing its part to help families.

"Within the councils, we send money to them and they send it directly to any particular country that is having difficulty and this time its Puerto Rico,” said Mary Lou Castro, LULAC.

Castro says she's proud the group can help Puerto Ricans during this time.

"Whether it is feeding people, getting water for them, blanks, it’s just up to their need mostly. So all the trust is there for that kind of funding," Castro said.

“In my dad's words from this morning, Puerto Rico is going back to poverty,” Martinez said.

Tuesday's earthquake was the strongest to hit Puerto Rico since October 1918, when a magnitude 7.3 quake struck near the island's northwest coast, unleashing a tsunami and killing 116 people.