FOX CHAPEL (KDKA) — Pittsburgh’s small Japanese community is continuing to closely monitor the events in their native country following last week’s destructive earthquake and tsunami.
It wasn’t a typical Sunday of classes for students, teachers or parents at the Pittsburgh Japanese School at Shady Side Academy in Fox Chapel.
On Sunday, many there were keeping an eye on the devastation back in Japan.
Tetsuo Ogiwara said his 88-year-old mother was injured during a fall inside her home near Tokyo during the earthquake.
“She was so scared that it affected her health, and now she’s in the hospital,” said Ogiwara.
For the last few days, he also said that he hasn’t been able to reach his sister, who lives 20 miles from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, which is on the verge of a possible meltdown.
“So now, I’m worried about how my sister is doing. Have they evacuated? I don’t know,” Ogiwara said. “I’m not able to talk to her. All circuits are busy.”
Junko North said earthquake preparedness is the rule in Japan, but this major quake was just too much.
“It’s like a movie, a special effect,” said North, who also has relatives in the country. “We never thought that would happen to anybody.”
Her husband, Titus, is flying to Japan on Monday. The trip was supposed to be for business, but now he’s taking a water purification kit.
“There’s a lot of old people who live in my wife’s neighborhood, and we have well water. But well water, you can’t drink it without purifying it,” said Titus.
Meanwhile, Ogiwara is confident his home country will recover, but before that can happen, he just wants the destruction to end.
“We’ve had enough, Japan has had enough,” said Ogwara.