How San Diego's sister cities in Japan are recovering - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

How San Diego's sister cities in Japan are recovering

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The entire world has been watching the destruction brought on by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Those involved in the sister cities program here in San Diego have a unique perspective.

None of our sister cities were hit by the tsunami, but they are recovering from the devastation caused by the 9.0 earthquake.

With almost 200 California cities involved, our state has the highest number of exchange programs with cities in Japan. Thelma Press has been involved in the programs for decades.

"When something like this happens, you can't isolate any country. We are all included, especially in the sister city movement, you become really close family," Thelma said.

Oceanside's two sister cities are in stable condition. In Kasarazu, buildings were damaged in the quake and rail service was cut. There are long lines for gas and food, but recovery efforts have begun.

Tremors were also felt in Fuji, but no major damage was done. It's a similar story in Odawara, whose sister city is Chula Vista. The city of Futtsu is twinned with Carlsbad, and located about two hours south of Tokyo. It too is cleaning up after the quake, along with the city of Itoshima, which is paired with Escondido. The city of Amakusa, which is paired with Encinitas, also suffered earthquake damage.

Press says all of the sister cities in San Diego County are finding ways to help their sisters and brothers in Japan.

"If they are able to send food, they'll send food, raise money, they'll send money, but everyone will send something to their sister city," Press said.

The city of Riverside is worried about its sister city of Sendai, the epicenter of the earthquake, which was also destroyed by the tsunami.




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