Relief efforts underway in Northeast Ohio for Puerto Rico earthquake victims

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PARMA, Ohio (WJW) -- Relief efforts are underway in Northeast Ohio for Puerto Rico earthquake victims.

Joel Rodriguez, 23, of Parma, has relatives there.  He shared pictures and video taken of his family Tuesday morning; his relatives were unable to return to their homes which have cracked walls and homes knocked off foundations.

All the devastation caused by two powerful earthquakes just hours apart.

"At first, I took it, okay, it happened once; I said, 'it won't happen again.' And then I heard that it kept happening."

Rodriguez spoke with relatives -- an aunt, uncles and cousins-- throughout the day; many still describing where they were and what they felt when the 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck.

"She also said that it felt like the earth was just moving and it was just raised and she said it was the longest minute of her life."

Gerardo Colon, a local firefighter, said his parents and grandparents are still on the island and are okay.

"I have some family here in the states, but the majority of them are there, the elders."

Colon was unable to get in contact with them for two weeks after hurricane Maria struck the island in 2017, and this latest natural disaster stirred up old emotions with massive power outages, no water and little food on an island of more than three million people.

"They were dealing more with more of the PTSD of blackouts, shortages, stuff like that."

As for now, looking at photos of relatives in prayer is helping to calm fears, as the United States is already setting aside $130 million to deal with the crisis.

Colon added, “Hopefully it'll be over soon and everything will be okay."

Relief efforts are already underway here at home.

The Latino American motorcycle club in Lorain is currently collecting medical supplies, canned goods and solar-powered lights.

They can be sent or delivered to the Gallagher School, attention Elizabeth Toro, at 6601 Franklin Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio 44102.

Read more, here.

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