Saturday, December 27, 2014

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Loved Ones In Japan Difficult To Reach From New York

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TWC News: Loved Ones In Japan Difficult To Reach From New York
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New Yorkers with family or friends in Japan spent all day Friday anxiously trying to learn their fate. NY1's Ruschell Boone filed the following report.

Worried sick about her mother, brothers and other relatives in Japan, Machi Leeponis of Jackson Heights, Queens tried desperately to reach her family. She began calling early Friday morning, right after hearing about the earthquake, but after several attempts Leeponis began to fear the worst.

In the afternoon, she decided to give it one more try. Finally, someone answered and the news on the other end was good.

"Whole family is okay," said Leeponis, much relieved.

Some other people were not as lucky. Noriko Hamagishi attempted dozens of calls from her Woodside apartment, trying to contact her mother, brother and his relatives in northern Japan.

"I tried to call. My husband called. Yeah, no one answer," said Hamagishi. "I'm very, very worried about my family."

In Jackson Heights, Midori Yamamura was also concerned. She learned through e-mail that most of her loved ones are okay, but not all were accounted for.

"I'm still trying to get in touch with my oldest among my younger brothers," said Yamamura.

Adding to her fears, her brother is tech-savvy but she has not been able to reach him through the Internet.

"I hope he's okay. And he has two beautiful, young daughters and they live in a high-rise," she said.

Uncertain about the fate of some of her family members, all Yamamura could do, like many Japanese New Yorkers, was wait and hope. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP