One story of hope as Japanese student sees family on YouTube
More than 50 percent of the population is missing in the small fishing village of Minami Sanriku, but 20-year-old Akiko Kosaka's family seems to be among the lucky ones who have survived the massive Japanese earthquake that struck last Friday, according to CNN.
Kosaka – who is currently studying in California – had not heard from her family for three days following the March 11 quake and tsunamis. However, on Sunday night, she received news from a Japanese friend that a 45-second video existed on YouTube showing her family still alive.
In the video footage, Kosaka's family house – located on high ground about five minutes away from the ocean – is the only one left visibly standing.
"I screamed, and my host parents woke up and they thought it was really bad. They asked what happened. And I said, 'They survived!'" Kosaka told the news source.
Kosaka's older sister, Shoko, 24, is seen in the video holding a sign that says "we are all safe," in Japanese.
Kosaka's younger sister, Yukako, 13, is also believed to be safe. Kosaka is concerned for the well-being of her elderly grandparents, who are both above the age of 80 and live with the family.
Kosaka's parents run a pharmacy in Minami Sanriku.
According to CNN, one reason why Kosaka's family house may have been left standing is because it was built more recently – about five years ago – compared to the other older neighborhood homes.
Japan is still experiencing aftershocks and smaller earthquakes as of Wednesday morning, March 16. A 5.3-magnitude earthquake was felt at about 9:51 a.m. in Tokyo, according to the New York Times.