Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Students remain safe in Japan

Ten UNC Charlotte students studying in Japan are shaken, but OK following another earthquake Tuesday morning. All of them checked in are said to be safe. The group is part of the Education Abroad Program at the university.

Another tremor shook Japan Tuesday. This recent one registered a 6.0. UNC Charlotte has 10 students studying in Japan. News 14 Carolina spoke with one of them via Skype.

"It was literally 60 seconds of the room shaking,” said UNCC student Edward Stahl. "It's pretty much the whole building shakes. It creates, an odd noise... the entire ground is moving. It's quite an odd sensation."

Stahl an international studies major, is studying in Japan, and never experienced an earthquake before moving there. Stahl was in his dorm room in Tokyo last Friday when the 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck, and again Tuesday during a 6.0 magnitude aftershock.

Stahl said he's going to try and stay in Japan to finish out his semester. But right now it's difficult; Tokyo has rolling blackouts and food and water are scarce.

"The grocery store was closed, McDonald’s was closed. We were trying to find food for that and it was very scarce,” Stahl said about the situation. “We finally found some about a mile away."

UNC Charlotte's Director of Education Abroad, Brad Sekulich, said students are prepared for emergency situations while abroad.

"We talk about the potential for emergency situations,” said Sekulich. “And try to get them prepared. Obviously we didn't prepare them for an 8.9 magnitude earthquake because no one saw that coming.”

The UNC Charlotte students studying abroad have the choice to leave Japan. Right now only one student decided to go home.

Reprinted from News 14, Charlotte

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