Conveyed below are two messages from the head of Tohoku International School, James Steward. They seem to be safe now, at least, the first follows immediately, scroll down to see the longer update below:
This is my first email access in over 4 days. Right now we have finally moved all teachers and our kids to safety.
More – as soon as I can get to a real computer instead of this phone.
Below is part of a second message from James Steward, Head of Tohoku International School. He is now safe in the Niigata area with his family.
Our school is very small as you know – 100 students – all safe it appears! The earthquake hit us at 2:47 Friday with unbelievable power and strength. Words cannot describe it! We managed to evacuate the building superbly! This is a credit to all involved. Damage was significant.
With regard to families, one father (whose shop was on the coast in Matsushima) is now accounted for! He and his staff ran for higher ground and made it! One father, a pilot at the airport, saw the Tsunami bearing down on him, and ran to the 3rdfloor and made it. He slept there for 3 days, and then at our house with his family afterward. Some families have chosen to leave Japan. The school is closed until at least Mar 28.
Sendai has little electricity, water, food, heat, gas, or fuel of any kind. For the first four days we hosted students, teachers, and friends at our home. We gathered firewood from the forest, and water from unique sources in order to cook and survive. It helped to be a Canadian from the Great White North! Finally, I helped transport my staff west of Sendai to safer conditions. They have now temporarily dispersed and will return when I give the OK. Many teachers have decided to reduce stress and temporarily leave Japan.
Relayed by way of Steve in Saitama