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Japanese Woman Frightened for Her Parents

Emi Nagata feels helpless when she looks at the images of devastation in her homeland. The massive quake and tsunami wreaked havoc on the area near her hometown of Sendai, and Emi wishes she could be there to help her parents.

“I turned on the TV and saw what happened and I was so scared,” said Emi, 32, whose husband, James, owns the Plum Tree Japanese Restaurant on Main Street in New Canaan. The couple live on Cavray Road in East Norwalk.

Disabled phone service prevented Emi from hearing the voices of her parents, Tsugio and Miyuki Sasaya. Several hours after she first tried to call on Saturday she got through to her mother by email. “We were very lucky,” she said.

Her mother told her the shaking from the earthquake was so violent she could not stand up.

While her parents and other relatives, including a brother and grandmother, are all right, Emi’s parents and their neighbors have had problems getting food and drinking water. Their city is isolated because rail service was all but destroyed by the tsunami. Her husband’s parents several hours west of Sendai had planned to deliver supplies and help Emi’s relatives, but were unable to with the area closed off.

Emi says the disaster has taken a toll on her 5-year-old son, Naruki. “My son sees what’s on the TV and he wants to know about grandma and grandpa,” she said. “I told him it would be okay.”

Though Nagata would like to see her family, she is frightened by the destruction in Japan. But she smiles when she thinks about the Japanese people coming together and rallying in a time of crisis. “I’m very proud of them,” she says.

Do you have friends and relatives in Japan surviving in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami? Let us know. Leave a comment below. You can also visit our Facebook page.

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