NBC12 family members talk to loved one in Japan

By Gene Petriello - bio | email | facebook

CHESTERFIELD, VA. (WWBT) -- We've been telling you about a member of our NBC12 family, Shawn Maclauchlan, and how he has been unable to talk to his brother who is in Japan.

Today, Shawn and the rest of his family talked to Kyle Maclauchlan this morning. Kyle is doing fine, and he tells us that things are "not bad." He considers himself lucky to be in the right place at the right time when the massive earthquake and tsunami hit.

"Hello! It's mommy." Three simple words that Jayne Maclauchlan has been waiting to say to her son, since this devastating earthquake hit last week.

"I get to hear his laugh. And I knew it was him. And this is what happened," says Jayne. It was an emotional moment of happiness.

Kyle is in Togajo teaching English. Tagajo is not too far from Sendai, the earthquake's epicenter.

He says he felt the first tremors and then alarms went off. "We knew it going to be a big earthquake so we dived under the desks," says Kyle.

Then, the tsunami. "We had to do the opposite of what I thought was okay. We had to run up to the third floor and the place is still shaking."

Once things calmed down, he immediately thought of his family back here in Chesterfield. "I was close to a TV. I saw the images on the TV and thought, God, she's got to be going through hell."

Meanwhile, Jayne was constantly on her computer, checking Facebook and using social media, doing whatever she could.

"I had all the ways of getting in touch with him. I'm on his Facebook page now and that's where I've stayed," says Jayne.

Now Kyle is back doing what he knows best -- helping others. "I don't think I can do anything else. I wouldn't feel right."

This, as he still doesn't know if all his friends in Japan are alive. "Until I hear that someone didn't make it, I'm going to assume the best."

His mom is trying to get people in touch with loved ones through his Facebook page. "I know he's not going to come home right away until he knows everyone is okay. That's my son. I love you!"

Kyle says almost everything he owns in his apartment was washed away with the tsunami. Right now, he and his family are trying to make sure the nuclear reactors that are exploding, do not cause any problems.

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