It’s been nearly a week since Delaware resident Karen Nagyiski has heard from her daughter, Jessica Besecker, who has spent the last two and a half years living in Japan.
Besecker, 24, lives in Kesennuma where she is an English teacher in the Japan Exchange and Teaching program. The community on Japan’s east coast was devastated by last Friday’s massive earthquake and tsunami.
Since then, Nagyiski has watched countless videos of the destruction, and with each viewing her fears about her daughter’s safety grow.
“Total devastation. All the video that we’ve seen the water has wiped everything out,” she said. “Her apartment, we don’t even know if it’s standing.”
The last communication Nagyiski received from her daughter was a Facebook update last Friday, just after the earthquake but before the tsunami. She’s spent nearly every waking moment since getting word out to the local and national news media; and making internet connections with anyone in Japan who could help locate her daughter.
The only sleep Nagyiski gets now is out of utter exhaustion.
“We’ve had people reaching out from all over the world,” she said.
According to internet reports, Kesennuma is without running water and electricity, and many are unable to contact family members.
A USA Today report states that of the 60,000 residents in the area, about 500 are believed dead.
The same story reports that the school where Besecker works is being used as a shelter.
That’s at least some encouraging news for Nagyiski.
“As far as we know it’s still standing.”