North Texan families, friends wait for answers after Mexico earthquake

Families wait for answers after Mexico quake

DALLAS -- Abraham Lewinsohn was cooking at his Dallas home for a Rosh Hashanah celebration Wednesday. As a father of three, his heart was split.

"It's very emotional for me because 32 years ago, I was rescuing people, the same day that it was my birthday," said Lewinsohn, through tears.

Lewinsohn never could have imagined another major earthquake would rock his hometown of Mexico City. Thirty-two years to the day, he pulled people from the rubble in 1985.

This time, it happened on his 55th birthday. This time, he was too far away to help.

"I am far from my kids, from my parents," said Lewinsohn. "It was very scary for me to receive a text that Mexcio was shaking again."

He heard from his oldest son first, but it took four nerve-wracking hours to hear from his youngest son.

"He was very scared," said Lewinsohn. "He doesn't want to live there anymore. I said 'Take the first flight, come here.'"

Lewinsohn's parents, sons, and sisters, all in Mexico City, have some damage to their homes, but they are all okay.

"The worst is my brother-in-law's mother's apartment," he said.

But for Lewinsohn, the images from Tuesday's 7.1 earthquake, centered in Puebla, bring back painful memories, long tucked away.

"After 32 years, it's the first time that I open my mouth about what happened 32 years ago. I keep it to myself, I never talk about it," said Lewinsohn.

WFAA's photographer Mel Sayavedra didn't talk about it much either, until today. He was in Mexico City during the 1985 earthquake. He'll never forget what he saw.

"I am walking and seeing these buildings. I can see people trying to rescue people who are trapped and the buildings are like sandwiches, just like yesterday," he said.

This time, Mel learned, a childhood friend was among the hundreds killed Tuesday.

In Dallas, the Mexican consulate wiped its calendar to focus on how to help, even while 60 percent of those who work there have family in affected areas, including the consul general, who is grateful by the community's show of support.

"They are calling more to know how can they help than knowing about their relatives," said Consul General Francisco de la Torre Galindo.

Galindo's parents in Mexico City are okay, but many others aren't.

And while Lewinsohn gets ready a holiday focused on family and reflection, he is overwhelmed by thoughts of both.

"It's incredible. I don't think a human person would think the same day, September 19, it would happen (again)," said Lewinsohn.

If you would like to help, the Mexican consulate suggests you donate to the American or Mexican Red Cross.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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