West Texas woman in Chile tells of her experience - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/27/10

West Texas woman in Chile tells of her experience

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Ashley Cuellar received an earth shaking phone call Saturday morning from her mother who delivered the news of the earthquake hitting Chile. Ashley's twin sister moved there about two years ago.

"This is my twin sister," said Ashley looking at a photograph. "It was really emotional to see that on TV. Just not knowing what was going on and not being able to get in touch with her right off the bat was scary."

Pacing her home anxiously, Ashley waited to hear from her sister. After six hours, her sister finally made contact. "I was scared.  I was really scared. I didn't know if she was ok. I didn't know, if she was with somebody or by herself. I was just really scared.  It was heartbreaking to hear my mom cry and you know just not knowing is the worst feeling in the world," she said.

Ashley's twin, Leslie, sent an email to her loved ones saying she was alright and telling about her experience. "The shaking was really strong. I was incredibly scared and thought it would never end. I just wanted the shaking to stop. After, what felt like two minutes, the shaking stopped. We tried to turn on the lights but the electricity was out. We opened a window to see if there was any damage to the apartment building but everything was intact. But there was a musky smell as if something was burning. We lit a candle and grabbed our things. Our apartment door wouldn't open so a neighbor of ours broke it down. Everyone in the building was evacuated and no one was injured," said Leslie in her e-mail. 

Leslie Cuellar says there is no major damage around where she lives. However, after an experience like this Leslie might consider a different location. "Definitely wanting to move back to the United States. She was at first thinking San Diego, but after this kind of experience she's thinking more of Texas now," said Ashley. 

Leslie Cuellar can only communicate with family through email because the phones in Chile are down. For Ashley, receiving the email was a relief but she is still waiting to hear her sister's voice.

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