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Maria Gubnitsky: Red Cross volunteer says she arrived in Puerto Rico just hours before aftershock

Posted at 10:22 PM, Jan 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-10 23:30:05-05

Local volunteers with the Red Cross landed in Puerto Rico less than two hours before Friday’s aftershock.

It was a nearly immediate reminder of what they are there to do.

Maria Gubnitsky is a nurse, helping provide medical assistance in Puerto Rico through the Red Cross.

“We were actually at the Red Cross chapter in San Juan and we felt it, the 5.6 I believe,” Gubnitsky said.

She credits her Red Cross team for staying calm, keeping her at ease.

“We’re okay, we were all safe and sound. Shortly thereafter, you start to hear sirens and that’s where our hearts go out,” Gubnitsky said.

Gubnitsky did not see any damage in San Juan. Saturday morning, she says her team will start heading to harder-hit areas.

“It’s my understanding that with each of these aftershocks, structures that are vulnerable already are now more compromised and our biggest concern is how that is affecting people that are near or in the homes,” Gubnitsky said.

She will be providing medical assistance, supporting hospitals and medical centers, and providing outreach into the community for medical support.

She still feels safe despite the brief aftershock.

“I have felt that kind of shake following maybe blasting in areas of construction.”

Gubnitsky will be in Puerto Rico for at least two weeks.