Images of the dead pop up on Victor Gonzalez’s Snapchat feed.
They’re images that break his heart.
“It’s horrible,” he said. “That’s your home country right there.”
The 7.1 magnitude Central Mexico earthquake is the second major quake to hit the nation in as many weeks. The first, measuring 8.1, came in a more remote coastal region.
That’s where Hugo Santiago’s family is located.
“Right now they are terrified,” he said. “They don’t know what is happening, why this is happening or what they’re going to do if something else happens.”
The lone piece of solid ground in this latest disaster has been the internet.
While phone lines are down or jammed, social media is flowing with information for those anxious in America.
Victor received a much-appreciated video call via Snapchat Wednesday from a friend in Mexico City.
Although, the news was not encouraging.
“There are people carjacking people trying to escape, criminals posing as rescue workers looting homes of survivors,” said Victor.
Victor and Hugo are both students at Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon. They both say getting in touch with friends and family in the quake zone has been relatively easy thanks to social media.
Experts say text messaging and social media are the best ways to communicate during any disaster because they operate on different platforms than more vulnerable telephone lines.