SURFSIDE, FL (CBS) - Anastasia Mechan was asleep in her mother's home in Surfside, Florida early Thursday morning when a violent shake woke the family up.
"So my mother was like, 'It's impossible for this to be an earthquake,'" she said. "So my mother went out and my sister went out and they saw the smoke all the way through the streets."
The Harvard University student is home with her family for a few weeks, and lives just two blocks from the massive condo complex collapse that so far has left 99 people unaccounted for.
"We did hear people screaming in the morning, screaming like really, really loud, like 'no!'" Mechan told WBZ. She says the smoke was so expansive, she first thought it was a massive fire.
When she learned of the collapse, she walked down the beach to see what happened. "And you can see sofas hanging, balconies hanging, clothes hanging. It's really disturbing. It's a situation that you cannot even describe in words," she said.
Mechan says her neighbors are bringing water and food to first responders as they try to find people in the rubble. She's worried about the rest of the building now.
"The building is standing still, the leftovers. And we don't know at what moment the building is going to collapse," she said. "And if it collapses on top of what's already collapsed, then how do we rescue the people that we hope are alive?"
for more features.