Modern technology helps local residents find loved ones in Japan following disaster


CLINTON, N.Y. (WKTV) - Some Central New Yorkers are closely monitoring the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, as they have many friends and family living in the country.

They are crediting social networking, like Facebook and Twitter for helping them get in touch quickly.

Kyoko Omori said she has been glued to her computer. A professor of Japanese Language and Literature at Hamilton College, Omori said that after the earthquake hit, she as able to get in touch with her mother over Skype.

Omori said last time an earthquake hit Japan in 1996, it took several days to get in touch with family because phone lines were out.

Omori's family lives in Kobe, Japan, a city several hundred miles from the epicenter of the earthquake. She has extended family and many friends who live in Tokyo, closer to where the earthquake hit.

Utica College Junior Sochiro Omi is from Tokyo. He said as soon as he heard the news, he tried to get in touch with family.

Five hours later, he got an e-mail from his sister.

"My sister said we are fine...nothing is broken," he said.

Omi said the biggest problem his friends and family are facing is transportation. The quake brought trains to a halt. Omi said his sister lives just outside of Tokyo and had to walk three hours to get home from work.

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