Armando Suarez, 11, said he quickly grabbed his sister and ran when the roof began to collapse at a laundromat in Ridgecrest, California

By Char Adams
July 10, 2019 10:51 PM
Armando Suarez carrying sister, Arianna, our of laundromat
ABC 7

An 11-year-old boy sprang into action last week when an earthquake rocked Ridgecrest, California, prompting him to flee a laundromat with his toddler sister in his arms.

Surveillance footage shows Armando Suarez running out of the building with his 2-year-old sister Arianna in his arms when a 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck on Friday, according to KABC. Ceiling tiles fell around the children as they fled, but no one was injured, KABC reported.

“It started shaking really badly and the roof starts to collapse in more,” Suarez told the station. “That’s when I grabbed my sister and ran toward the door because everything’s shaking.”

In the video, people are seeing running out of the laundromat as the building shook. The children’s mother Joann Yglesias appeared right behind them.

“Once we got outside, I grabbed my kids and held them really close to me,” Yglesias told KABC. “I’m very, very proud of him and thankful he was there to react good.”

RELATED: Man, 56, May Have Been Crushed to Death by His Jeep During Earthquake: He Was ‘Working on the Vehicle’

A 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck around 10:30 a.m. on the Fourth of July near Ridgecrest, California, with its impact felt about 180 miles away in Pahrump. The 7.1-magnitude earthquake then struck near Ridgecrest on Friday.

The July 4 earthquake was the largest felt in the area in at least 20 years, but was quickly topped by Friday’s quake, according to ABC News. Local authorities reported multiple fires, damage to buildings, roads and gas lines, TIME reported.

Arianna (left) with brother Armando Suarez

RELATED: 6.4 Magnitude Earthquake Rattles Southern California, With Impact Felt in Mexico

No fatalities or major injuries were initially reported at the time, according to the Associated Press. However, authorities in Pahrump announced what they said they believed to be an “earthquake-related death.”

Authorities said they found a 56-year-old man dead under his Jeep on Tuesday, six days after he was last seen at a local gas station.

“The vehicle that the male was pinned under had been jacked up safely and based on the positioning of the body and the tools found at the scene, the male appeared to be working on the vehicle at the time of his death,” Sgt. Adam Tippetts, with Nye County Sheriff’s Office, said in a video statement.

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