Lower Merion man among Americans returning from Japan

    The U.S. has announced plans to help evacuate Americans from Japan, fearing increased radiation levels from damaged nuclear reactors. But one Montgomery County family had to rely on friends to help their son evacuate.

    Earlier this week, Lower Merion native Alex Golden could not find a way out of the earthquake-stricken town of Osaki, which lies about 10 miles inland from where the tsunami struck. Like others sin the city, he faced food shortages, no electricity and no water.

    Golden’s mother, Debbie, says the State Department provided no help. So she reached out to friends living in Tokyo and a nearby city. The 24-year-old Golden managed to drive back roads on a half tank of gas in order to reach a town where there was bus service to Tokyo. Debbie Golden said she spoke to her son Wednesday night.

    “He sounds very worried about his friends, he says he feels guilty about leaving. And they have to stay,” she said. “He wants to come home and try to do whatever he can to help them.”

    Like many young Americans living in Japan, Golden taught English at a school in a remote part of the country.

    Meanwhile, Temple University officials say they are evacuating about 200 American students from the school’s Japanese campus in Tokyo because of radiation fears.

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