WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- It’s a story you’ll only see on Western Mass News.

Heightened concerns in Puerto Rico Tuesday night as earthquakes continue to shake the island, with many here in western Mass worried about their loved ones.

We’re now hearing from a woman who was there during those earthquakes and giving us a better idea of the state of the island.

While we haven’t heard of any big earthquakes in the last 48 hours, they continue to happen several times a day.

One woman said even though she’s back home locally on safe ground, what’s even more nerve-wracking is knowing she had to leave her family behind and not knowing when the next one will be, or what kind of damage it might cause.

Madeline Aveles, a director with the Gandara Center in Springfield, still gets emotional thinking about the earthquakes she experienced while visiting Puerto Rico last week.

"You’re in bed, you’re sleeping, and then you’re literally being woken up by just the bed and then sounds and you start feeling things moving and you don’t know if it’s a nightmare or not, you don’t know exactly what it is," Aveles explained.

With so many aftershocks continuing, everyone on the island just desperate for them to end.

"You’re looking to have some peace, you want to sleep, you want to feel safe...and that moment, you’re looking for that moment all the time, but that moment never comes," Aveles said.

Madeline told Western Mass News that when she and her husband arrived back home in western mass, they slept the entire weekend.

She said a sense of panic continues to overwhelm the people she left behind.

The Gandara Center's Marketing Director Jade Rivera is hoping to alleviate some of that anxiety by collecting donations.

"Little by little we’re seeing everything stack up, and we’re getting several different things. Batteries, diapers and baby supplies, toiletries, first aid kits all the things that people that when they’re out of their home's needs," Rivera explained.

But Aveles said what the people need most is knowing this will end soon...something that no one can guarantee them.

"They don’t have that sense of security and peace of mind that if I go in my home that the ceiling’s not going to fall on my head. So that’s the thing they need the most and the one thing that we can’t give them, which is why this whole situation is so hard and heartbreaking," Aveles noted.

Many people have been asking me online how will these donations get to Puerto Rico.

Rivera told us that a group from the Gandara Center will be bringing the donations to the island and distributing themselves because they feel it’s important that they all get into the right hands.

Donations are being accepted at the Gandara Center headquarters at 147 Norman Street in West Springfield. 

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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