CCTV.com - CNTV English - CCTV News

Tsunami sparks search for son living in Japan

03-15-2011 08:54 BJT Special Report:9.0 Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Japan |

BEIJING - Even before the waves stopped washing over the northeast coast of Japan, Li Guangqiang began the search for his son.

The professor knew that his son, a university student in Sendai, Japan, was living near the epicenter of the 9.0-magnitude earthquake that wreaked havoc on the coast last Friday, sparking a tsunami that swept far inland, devastating towns and villages.

His concern was multiplied by the knowledge that Sendai is only 100 km north of the Fukushima nuclear power station that is at risk of explosion, leaking radiation and meltdown.

After countless failed efforts to reach his son - or any other friends in Japan - through mobile phone or other telecommunications, the anxious father could not sleep and after midnight began a search online.

On www.renren.com, a social networking website popular with overseas Chinese students and new graduates, Li found a forum dedicated to keeping contact with relatives and friends in Japan.

Many had left messages on the forum, leaving the names, addresses and contact details of the people they were looking for in Japan as well as giving their own contact information.

In desperation, Li left details about himself and his son Li Qingda, a 21-year-old law student at Tohoku University.

By noon the next day Li heard from his niece that his son has been confirmed safe and alive in Sendai through the website Sina Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter.

"My niece and apparently someone else forwarded my message to Sina Weibo. Then someone in Japan responded to my message, saying that he finally reached my son after more than 40 failed phone calls and confirmed his safety," Li said.

Even though Li has not personally heard from his son, he and his wife were able to calm down somewhat after the message.

Over the next few hours, Li received dozens of calls and messages, mostly from people he didn't know, telling him that his son had been confirmed safe on the website of the Chinese embassy in Japan.

On Sunday morning, a friend in Tokyo said his son called again and was safe. His son also sent a short e-mail from his mobile phone to a friend in China on Monday morning, saying: "I'm fine. Don't Worry."

Li said he has kept contact with his son over the past three days through these relayed messages.

"We haven't had the chance to speak to each other," Li said. "But at least we know he is safe."


Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program