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Gentri Thurlby, the 27-year-old Florida woman missing since Ecuador's devastating weekend earthquake, is alive and OK, her relieved father told NBC News on Monday.
Richard Thurlby of Lake Lure, North Carolina, said his daughter finally managed to get word to him Monday night via Facebook that she'd been able to run toward the beach as the shaking started Saturday — away from falling debris and rubble.
Gentri Thurlby runs the La Sirena Bar in the resort town of Canoa, Ecuador, in the hard-hit northwest coastal part of the country.
"She saw several bodies lined up along the road and hanging out of buildings," Richard Thurlby told NBC News after he spoke to his daughter by video chat. "She said she saw at least 50, which is a lot for her little town. She said everything was chaotic and pretty much the town is destroyed."
The woman was with another person on the second floor of a building when the power went out Sunday, Thurlby said.
"She thought it was just a power outage, but then the building started to shake," he said. "They ran towards a stairwell, and as she was running down, the building started shaking really bad. She was hitting the walls, bouncing back and forth on the way down.
"Just as she got outside, a balcony from the building actually fell on her. She got cut and thought she broke her arm, but it ended up just badly bruised," he said.
"If she was 10 seconds later, she would have died," he said.
Gentri Thurlby's bar is teetering on the edge of a large crack in the ground, and the house where she was living was destroyed, said her father, who said he's working to get her enough money to buy a plane ticket home.
In the meantime, she's staying with her boyfriend's parents, about four hours away. And her parents are breathing a deep sigh of relief — albeit an exhausted one.
"We're just worn out," Richard Thurlby said. "It's just been crazy."