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    Posted March 15, 2011 by
    Ridgecrest, California
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Recovery in Japan: After the earthquake

    DavidJohnson and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Earthquake strikes Japan
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    My friends are alive, but are they well?


    When I first learned of the disaster which struck the Japanese Empire that Friday night, a big part of me was struck too. Some of those affected were more than just friends to me. They are like family.


    I virtually met Hitoshi and Michalde 10 years ago while playing an online WW ll flying game and today we are pen-pals. Over the years we've worked through some pretty tough times together. The loss of friends through accidents, sickness or plain old age. There's friends we've met and had BBQ's with, and others we want to. No matter where your friends live, they are your friends regardless.


    I wrote both Hitoshi and Michalde after the quake struck to check on them. Thankfully, both them and all of our other friends to numerous to list are ok. For many others, however, the story is more grim.


    In sharing their responses, please keep in mind the language barrier. Both of these gentleman have come a very long way with their English and write it very well.


    Mich writes:

    Hello my friend David san.


    It passed from that day. I and my family are fine. We got to know the size of the damage. 10,000 people might exceed by the dead. I am very very sad. In Yokohama, earthquake intensity was 5 upper. But, in the north Japan, it was 7. It was corrected from M8.8 to M9.0. It is the maximum in the history of the observation of Japan.


    This earthquake was very large. To me, such a big earthquake is the first. All trains also stopped operation in Yokohama and Tokyo. There was damage of tsunami in the northern part of Japan. The height was 10m upper (33 feet). Many people passed away. I am very sad.


    President Obama said, "We are ready to offer all support."


    We respect the American government and Americans. And, the government of many countries in the world said to us, "It is ready to help Japan." Thank you I will say all over the world.


    It was the mail written by you that I was the happiest. Thank you My tomodachi David san. !! I am proud of you and me are tomodachi.


    There was an accident in a nuclear power plant. It is Fukushima Daiichi Genpatsu. (Genpatsu is genshiryoku hatatsudensyo - nuclear power plant). A lot of people worry. Core is melting? I think that the Japanese can solve the difficulty.


    Thank you to friends all over the world. Thank you to friends in the United States. Thank you my friend David.




    Hitoshi wrote:

    Maido David san tomodachi!!! David san, long time no see. How are you? How is your family? Thanks for getting me worried. I am ok. :) No injuries. My house is away from the coast. There was no tsunami damage. I was surprised earthquake. It was scary earthquake experience.


    David san, Thank you very much. :)

    From Hitoshi To David san


    I can't express how happy I was to receive these messages. More, I can't imagine what family and friends are going through who do not hear any news from their loved ones after such an event like this. Although my tears of fear were replaced with those of joy, the sadness still remains for all those lost in and within this disaster.


    Each day as the death toll continues to rise, some miracle stories still emerge from Japan. But as time runs out for those trapped, the number of missing will soon convert to the number killed from this tragedy. And now with four nuclear reactors facing a potential meltdown, sadly the story may not end there.


    With economic times being what they are today, there will be those who try to cash in at the expense of those in need. I would highly suggest if you wish to give, please give through the American Red Cross @ www.redcross.org

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