Families waiting for news of loved ones in Japan

By Yvette Yeon - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It was 30-year-old Kyle Mclauchlan's third year teaching English to kids in Sendai, Japan. For family and friends here in the metro, waiting for news was almost unbearable.

"All this time we have absolutely no communication, power's been knocked out," said Kyle's brother, Shawn Maclauchlan.

Kyle - also a former Manchester Volunteer EMT - worked a lot of rescues with the volunteers who all day constantly checked their phones for any messages from him.

"We tried to reach out immediately," said friend and fellow volunteer EMT, Daniel Harker.

"It's devastating, because it's hard to believe something like that can happen and the next thing I did was think about Kyle," said another friend and fellow volunteer EMT, David Bulman.

"We are worried, we should be worried but we're worrying about all of them not just him," said Kathy Eubank, President of the Manchester Volunteer Rescue Squad.

This 8.9 earthquake was the most powerful to strike Japan on record. It hit just 82 miles east of Sendai, where Kyle teaches.

It was hard for Shawn to watch the news, not knowing if his brother is alive.

"You just want to go hey are you ok, just a word to know that, hey I'm still here would really help."

But nearly 24 hours since the quake, the family got news through Kyle's company's website, that he is alive.

The update was just two lines that read "at the earthquake moment, Kyle was in his school...he headed for his colleague teacher's home in Rifu town" just north of Sendai.

It was enough to keep hope alive.

"Knowing Kyle he's a methodical person, he knows exactly what he has to do, he takes control of the situation in any language and I think he can step up and do what he needs to do to help out," said Harker.

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