East Texans wait for call from family caught in powerful earthquake

By Lakecia Shockley - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas college missions group, found themselves in the midst of a powerful earthquake. Kilgore College students and staff are in Belize for a missions trip right now, near a deadly earthquake that shook up Honduras and Belize early Thursday morning. Right now, government officials have said six people are dead and 40 more are injured.

"It's hard not knowing," said Tiffany Ross, whose mom is on the missions trip in Belize. "I mean, that's the worst part, just not knowing."

Ross would give anything to hear her mother's voice.

"We're going to school together and she's in the nursing program," said Ross. "I'm really proud of her."

Ross's mom, Barabar Roberts is one of nine Kilgore College students, and three faculty members who are in Belize on the missions trip, amidst the earthquake's destruction.

"I've been constantly on the internet looking, checking for updates of anything I can find out, because I haven't heard anything from them at all," said Ross. "She went down there with the honor society and their going down there kind of as a mission to help an orphanage down there. She was so excited going out of the states."

Kilgore College says the students and faculty left for Belize a week ago for their annual Phi Theta Kappa Kilgore missions trip...

"We haven't heard anything from them, we're not concerned because we didn't expect to hear anything from them down there because they're basically in a jungle and there's no cell reception," said Chris Craddock. "Really, at this point, no news is good news and we're hoping for the best."

Kilgore College says they've notified parents and family members of the students to alert them.

"We feel like we've done what we needed to do to contact the family members and really at this point we're just hoping that everything turns out ok and we feel like it will," said Craddock.

Until then, Ross can't wait to get her mom back home.

"I'll be happy, I'll be happy," said Ross. "I'll be relieved yeah. [There will be] big hugs!"

Kilgore College says the mission trip students were staying far inland in Belize so they don't believe they were drastically affected by the earthquake. The group is scheduled to fly back to Houston tomorrow. The college says, right now, all the flights are still scheduled to leave.

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