How Japan TV is reporting the disaster - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

How Japan TV is reporting the disaster

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Much like when a firestorm hits San Diego County, Japanese residents are receiving critical updates on television. Wall-to-wall coverage of the devastation in Japan is now available in San Diego. News 8 spent the afternoon with a translator taking an inside look at the broadcasts.

For a limited time throughout the crisis, Japan TV is being offered for free by all three local cable television carriers, and we want to thank San Diego State senior Derek Macatantan for helping us break the language barrier.

As an elderly couple searches for a missing family member, Derek listens in.

"The wife is obviously concerned, telling the father that it's dangerous, not to go in there but he can't help but go in there," he said.

Derek tells us the husband and wife are looking for their son who was working inside a post office when the earthquake hit.

"They hope that he's run away, but even if he were to come back, there is no place for him to come back to," Derek said.

Derek says when a body is found, a red flag is posted at the location, followed by a prayer. Confirmed death tolls are listed city by city, and although thousands of people are still missing, Derek points out much of the crying we're seeing are tears of joy.

"They're very relieved to hear that they are alive," he said of a woman on TV who was crying.

The top story in Japan remains the potential for a nuclear meltdown.

"He's (Japanese reporter) talking about the radiation levels are lowering due to the efforts of their countermeasures of the reactors," Derek said.

Hundreds of thousands of people are living in shelters, and although food, water and clothing is scarce, the Japanese people remain calm.

"I think it's very orderly, it's something that I remember being in Japan, a lot of order out of chaos," Derek said.

Three years ago, Derek spent a year abroad in Japan, and despite the devastation, he plans on returning to the country to teach English after he graduates in May.

"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity to go back out there and teach English. And I think they need it especially at this time, these kinds of resources, especially after many schools were destroyed," Derek said.

If you're interested in watching Japan TV here in San Diego, check with your local cable provider for the channel it's being carried on.

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