Bradford, a suburb of Boston, has been hit by a major earthquake and has been placed on lockdown.
The lockdown has prompted many residents to pack up their belongings, leaving them vulnerable to an additional lockdown in the future.
“We’re still in shock,” said Brian Smith, a retired schoolteacher who has lived in Bradford since 2012.
Smith, who had two kids with his wife, was preparing to move back to the area after spending 10 years living in New York.
In the past two weeks, he said he’s heard from a lot of people who are staying put, despite the city’s lockdown.
They said it was the best decision for them, he added.
While some residents have had their belongings moved out of their homes, others have been forced to leave their homes because they can’t find places to live in a nearby neighborhood.
The city’s Office of Emergency Management and Emergency Management Agency issued a “stay-at-home order” for Bradford in the aftermath of the earthquake, which killed at least six people and injured hundreds more.
More than 40,000 people have been moved out from their homes since the quake struck, according to an update issued by OEMA on Tuesday.
Bradford has become one of the most heavily-populated communities in the state, with nearly 4,000 homes in the town of 1,000.
Residents have been ordered to evacuate their homes and businesses and some are forced to drive from their houses to avoid the lockdown.
A spokesperson for the city of Bradford said it would allow the evacuation of residents who need it, but residents who have already moved will be allowed to stay.
It is currently a “hazardous area,” meaning there is a heightened risk of serious injury or death, the spokesperson said in a statement.
Many of the residents who left have been moving back to their homes to try and get some sleep, said Scott Lutz, director of community engagement at Bradford Community Center.
But others are staying at home to help their children and to try to stay safe.
“I know they’ve been there, but I’m not going to be there when they need me,” he said.
This is the first time I’ve heard of that.
We have to find a way to get the people out of here, he continued.
There is no other option, he explained.
We have to make sure the people who need help, they get help.
As a parent, I don’t know what to do.
I feel like I’ve been trapped in my house all day.
I’m scared to move in and go to sleep, Lutz said.
I don’t want to leave my kids behind, he warned.
I’m worried about them.
On Tuesday, the National Guard is expected to move into Bradford.
A total of 1.5 million people live in Bradfords metropolitan area, according the OEMA update.
The state’s Department of Emergency Services said the state will begin distributing water and other supplies to Bradford residents, as well as distributing food to those living in the city.