Local fears after Japan earthquake and tsunami

CONCERNED people in Eastbourne have been contacting their loved ones in Japan following the devastating earthquake and tsunami.

Eastbourne woman Betty Van Den Bossche is concerned about her 51-year-old son Mark, a former Eastbourne Town football player, who has been teaching in Japan for around 11 years. He currently works in Tokyo.

Betty, 86, told the Gazette, “My eldest daughter rang me at 7.30am and asked if we had seen the news. “We were worried because we rang him but there was no answer.

“We were worried for about three hours until he managed to email.”

Mark followed the earthquake drill and told the children he was teaching in Tokyo to get under the desks.

Betty said, “He told me he really felt the earth shake and he got under the desk too.”

Mark and the children from the school were unharmed in the quake and the tsunami did not affect Tokyo.

However, Mark had to stay at the school until late that evening because many parents struggled to get to the school to collect their children.

Betty is due to fly out to Japan next month to visit Mark and meet her new grandson, who was born in August.

She said, “I will still go if I possibly can but at the moment they are telling people not to travel to Japan.”

Japanese students from LTC in Eastbourne were concerned when they heard the news.

Staff at the language school in Compton Road told the Gazette they helped the two Japanese students get in touch with their families. Both families, who were living in relatively unaffected areas of Japan, were safe and well.

n Have you, or someone you know, been affected by the devastating events in Japan?

If so, contact reporter Juliet Perry on 414484 or email juliet.perry@eastbourneherald.co.uk.