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California student from Japan finds family alive on YouTube




Akiko Kosaka, a student from Japan attending the University of California at Riverside, had lost all hope for her family in Minami Sanriku, the fishing village where more than half of the 17,000 residents are missing and feared dead in the aftermath of last week's tsunami.

For three days, she scoured the Internet. She received one e-mail that her youngest sister, Yukako, 13, was likely safe in her middle school's shelter. But what about her parents, paternal grandparents and older sister, who all lived under the same roof?

When the mayor was quoted in the media as saying he barely survived the tsunami, Kosaka thought the worst, because her father's pharmacy was located near the town hall.

"I didn't think they survived," Kosaka, 20, told CNN during a tearful interview Tuesday. "I cried for three days -- Friday, Saturday, Sunday."

Then she received word Sunday night from a friend in Japan of the existence of a 45-second YouTube video showing her family home as the only one standing amid the rubble. The video highlighted her older sister holding a sign to a TV news crew saying in Japanese "we are all safe."


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