RIVERSIDE (CBS) — For students like Akiko Kosaka, watching the footage of the devastation in Japan has been excruciatingly painful.
Kosaka, who hails from a fishing village in Japan where more than half of the 17,000 residents are missing and feared dead, had been scouring the Internet for news of her family. Kosaka’s 13-year-old sister Yukako, she was told by email, was probably safe in her middle school’s shelter.
But what happened to her parents, paternal grandparents and older sister, who all lived in the same house?
Kosaka has been studying English at UC Riverside since September. In the days following the earthquake and tsunami, Kosaka was unable to contact her family and cried for three days as she searched the Internet for news.
But a friend called her Sunday night, saying she thought she saw Kosaka’s older sister in a clip on the news.
Kosaka screamed in relief, waking up her host family, when she finally saw the clip on YouTube. In the clip, there was video of her sister holding a sign. In Japanese, one sign said “Kosaka Family” and another said “We are all safe.”