San Antonians collect aid to help Mexican tornado victims

Tornado struck Ciudad Acuna, killed at least 13


SAN ANTONIO – The tornado that struck the Mexican border town of Ciudad Acuna on Monday, killing at least 13 people and damaging more than 800 homes, left a lasting impression on many San Antonians.

Business owner Ruby Perez said she's willing to collect aid, then ship it over to a drop-off location in Del Rio, Texas, which is just six miles from Ciudad Acuna.

"I don't have family members there but I just felt like these people need help," Perez said.

After seeing so many devastating pictures on social media, Perez said felt compelled to use her San Antonio office as a drop-off site.

"I can coordinate with the City Council or the mayor of Del Rio and see if we can get those items dropped off to the people who need it," Perez said.

Acuna City councilmember Jaime Garza said the tornado hit three neighborhoods that were densely populated.

"(Monday) was the day of picking up vehicles from the street, cleaning up, looking for victims," he said.

He said the tornado killed at least 13 people in mere seconds. Another 122 people were injured and 44 others were sent to a hospital for major surgery, he said.

Garza said windows were blown out at several schools, fences were knocked down, and rooftops were badly damaged.

"(The tornado) hurt three schools there," Garza said. "Luckily all the kids were not in school yet."

Perez said she hopes her efforts here will make a difference in tornado victims' lives.

Perez's business is located at 368 New Laredo Highway. Items in need include:

  • Powdered milk (adult and infant)
  • Diapers (both adult and infant)
  • Non-perishable food items
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Wheelchairs
  • Water

Below are images sent in by KSAT viewers of the damage in Ciudad Acuna: