Calif. Student Spots Japanese Family Alive on YouTube

She sees sister waving sign that family is safe
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2011 3:40 AM CDT

Need to check on your family after a tragedy? Tune into YouTube. That's what a University of California student did to find any scrap of information about her family back in Japan. She was thrilled to spot her sister in a 45-second YouTube video waving a placard announcing: "We are all safe." Akiko Kosaka had lost hope for her family, who lives in the devastated town of Minami Sanriku.

But miraculously, Kosaka's family home was the only one standing among a field of rubble in the wake of last week's tsunami. Kosaka's friend steered her to the YouTube video showing her sister waving her sign at a news crew, reports CNN. "I screamed, and my host parents woke up and they thought it was really bad," Kosaka said. "They asked what happened. And I said, 'They survived!'" (More tsunami stories.)

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