Thanks to YouTube, 20-year-old study abroad student Akiko Kosaka found her family.
Japanese students studying around the world are hoping that friends and loved ones in their homeland survived last week's 9.0 earthquake and the subsequent tsunami. Now thanks to a video posted onto YouTube, the hopes of one such student, 20-year-old Akiko Kosaka, have miraculously come true.
According to CNN, Kosaka's currently enrolled at the University of California at Riverside but she hails from Minami Sanriku, a fishing village devastated by the tsunami and missing over half of its 17,000 residents. After watching news reports over the weekend, she thought her family had been lost in the disaster. Fortunately a friend back in Japan texted her that there was video from her hometown on YouTube, and, even better, that Kosaka's older sister, 24-year-old Shoko was in the clip.
Indeed, the footage shows that Kosaka's family home was the only building left standing in the village, and the news crew caught images of her sister holding up a sign saying "we are all safe". Kosaka says she "couldn't believe it. It's just like a miracle." Watch her touching account of finding out that her family is alive, and the encouraging message she sends back to them.