CNN uncovered a truly amazing story today about a young girl in California who received notice that her family is alive in Minami Sanriku, Japan via YouTube. Akiko Kosaka studies at the University of California at Riverside where she began a yearlong study of English last September. She is originally from Minami Sanriku, a small fishing village on the coast of Japan where an estimated 17,000 residents were feared to be dead or missing after last week’s tsunami.
After three days of living in fear that her family was perished in the tsunami’s aftermath, a friend contacted Akiko because she had seen her older sister on the news. A 45- second YouTube video showed Akiko’s family home in Minami Sanriku, the only one standing among ruins, and her sister reporting from the home’s balcony to the camera crew- “Kosaka Family- we are all safe.” Akiko’s sister told crew that they needed to report the information to her sister in America. Akiko is hoping to respond back to her family through the Internet. She told CNN:
“My older sister, I saw your video. Thank you very much for being alive. It made me really happy that you are worried about me even in this tough situation. Grampa and Gramma, how is your health? Mom and Dad, I know everything is tough right now with your job and everything, but I am so glad you are alive. I really look forward to seeing you guys again.”