Esteban Toledo, center, saved his parents last Thursday night. Esteban Toledo, center, saved his parents last Thursday night.

68-year-old saved parents in earthquake

Esteban Toledo got them out of the house before it caved in

Less than four days after the earthquake that took over 90 lives in southern Mexico, the tales of those who narrowly survived are beginning to surface.

Two of those were elderly residents of Asunción Ixtaltepec, Oaxaca, who were saved by their 68-year-old son, Esteban Toledo Mijangos.

“We were already sleeping,” he told the newspaper El Universal. “I was on a cot when I felt everything moving. I stood up and shouted ‘Earthquake!’ I woke up my parents and somehow I got them out to the patio. Then there was a loud noise and the patio was covered in dust. The roof and the walls of the house had come down.”

Alfonso Toledo Guzmán, 90, and Juana Mijangos Díaz, 86, survived but they are grieving the fate of the former’s half-sister.

“We were lucky, but I feel sad that my half-sister, Teresita Guzmán, died the night of the earthquake. She couldn’t make it out and was buried in the rubble,” said the elderly man. Guzmán, 66, lived nearby.

“I did not have enough time to get her out. I was lying down on the patio and ran in to help her, but the ceiling and the walls fell in. I found her there later,” said her son, Luis Jiménez Guzmán.

Asunción Ixtaltepec

“Everything fell down. It’s painful for us, especially the way my mother-in-law died,” said María Silvia Cruz, Jiménez’s wife. The family buried Guzmán on Saturday, and they lamented not being able to hold a traditional mass nine days after her burial. “We might organize a prayer on the 40th day,” said Cruz.

At least 12 people were killed in Ixtaltepec during the 8.2-magnitude earthquake, buried in the rubble.

Now, residents mourn the dead and await the restoration of electricity and water service.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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