“I came home and prepared breakfast and slept for five hours,” he said.
For now, interested families have moved from a community center to a hotel next door so they can be more comfortable. Officers planned to brief them once every four hours on search and rescue operations.
Survivors continued to share shocking stories of how they escaped harm.
Marion Smeraldi-Lopez, who lived with her family on the sixth floor, said she exited through a staircase.
“There doesn’t seem to be any housing on that north side,” he said. “Just air, debris and debris.”
Ms Smeraldi-Lopez, her husband Alfredo Lopez and their 24-year-old son Michael Lopez grabbed a flashlight, cellphones and glasses and ran out of their pajamas. Dust came out from around the glass doors and windows. No electricity. An alarm sounded somewhere. Their next apartment said, “Gone.”
She and her family stayed near the wall and passed an elevator bank. On the stairs, they joined a single file line of residents running downstairs from the top floors. Families were called in to keep an eye on those behind them. In the garage, the water was up to her ankles.
Outside, they climbed over the wall of the broken pool deck and wanted to reach the beach in case of destruction from what they thought was an earthquake: “I hope the aftermath is going to happen,” he said.
But when they reached a solution, she came back. There was only a part of the building that fell down and the buildings around them did not escape.
Her understanding of their predicament filled her with fear.
“This is our building, and it stands in our apartment,” he said.
Reporting contributed Richard Bassett, Giulia Howard, Michael Majrovich And Joseph b. Drester From the Surface. Reporting also contributed Mike Baker, Manny Fernandez, Christine Hauser, Sophie Kasakov, Alyssa Lukpat And Mitch Smith. Kitty Bennett Contributing research.