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Exclusive: Connecticut residents return from Puerto Rico after earthquakes, concerned for those left behind

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WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Powerful earthquakes and aftershocks have rocked Puerto Rico all week, and following the 6.0 magnitude aftershock that hit the island Saturday morning, Waterbury residents with ties to the island are more concerned than ever.

Related Content: Exclusive: Waterbury man escapes earthquake in Puerto Rico

News 8 spoke to several Waterbury residents Saturday who were in Puerto Rico when the first earthquake of the week hit Tuesday morning.

The family told News8 a large number of people in Puerto Rico are sleeping outside because they’re afraid to sleep in their own homes in case another earthquake or powerful aftershock hits while they are inside.

That’s one reason Albert Rodriquez of Waterbury wanted to bring his mother who lives in Puerto Rico to Connecticut.

Rodriquez was able to get his mother, Norma, out of Puerto Rico Saturday morning — right before another devastating quake.

“It felt like the house was gonna cave in right on me,” Norma explained.

“I’m glad that we were there,” Albert said. “We experienced it. She lives by herself, it would’ve been a rough time for her by herself.”

Related Content: Magnitude 6 shock rocks quake-stunned Puerto Rico

“I’m looking at the ceiling if it’s gonna cave in,” he said. “Everyday, every other hour we were getting tremors.”

Even though Rodriquez and his mother are safe in Connecticut, they admit their hearts are with the people who are still on the island and they want to do something to help them.

“Thousands of people down there — they’re living in fear right now,” said Albert.

“They never really recovered from Hurricane Maria” – which hit the island in 2017- “so you could still see roads out and things out still down there,” Albert explained.

Waterbury State Representative Geraldo Reyes says Connecticut is making plans to reach out and help Puerto Rico.

“Our governor, Ned Lamont, has totally advised us that the National Guard is at the ready — ready to go,” said Rep. Reyes.

RELATED: Puerto Rico earthquake aftermath deepens as govt seeks help

He also says the City of Bridgeport will announce plans to help on Monday; other cities — like Hartford — have already announced plans for relief efforts and Waterbury will do so soon.

Everyone is trying to figure out the best ways to collect things like water, food, and medical supplies and figure out how to get them to the island.

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