By Randy Schafer – Associate EditorGPC students Erich Schuler and Yasmin Theodore were in disbelief upon hearing the news of the earthquake, tsunami, and Fukushima nuclear power plant explosion. Both students have family in Japan and other parts of the globe that are affected by these natural disasters and are relying upon social media to keep them in the loop.
An earthquake with a magnitude of 9.0 and the following tsunami shook the nation of Japan from the East coast of Honshu to as far as Tokyo on March 11. The initial damage of the quake and the tsunami caused massive damage to buildings and land, and according to BBC News, in over two weeks has taken over 10,000 lives.
Erich Schuler has family members in Tokyo and a great uncle in Nishiaizu, inside the Fukushima jurisdiction. His great uncle is roughly within 50 miles of the Daiichi power plant in Fukushima, and is at risk of radiation.
Schuler’s primary source of communication with relatives in Japan is through his Japanese grandmother in Florida. She contacts them via telephone. He relies on major broadcast news outlets on TV and the Internet to find out the current events in Japan.
They were stuck living in their office where they worked, because the transportation was down,” said Schuler. “My great aunt is helping one of my cousins raise their children and wasn’t sure how they were going to get food and water. The electricity was out and they were often wandering around in the dark.”
Yasmin Theodore has family members in Hawaii, the Philippines, and Chiba, Japan. Each one of those locations received damage from the tsunami and her aunt in Japan experienced her own tribulations.
Theodore has kept in contact with her aunt in Japan through her aunt’s daily Facebook updates and through her mother’s Skype conversations when her aunt’s electricity available.
When I found out my aunt was driving around during the earthquake trying to get to her kids, I panicked for most of the day … She was even stuck under a bridge trying to get her kids together,” said Theodore.
Schuler and Theodore’s relatives have all survived the disasters. Schuler’s family is currently dealing with quake aftershocks and reconstruction and Theodore’s family is doing what they can to help.