Japanese tourists shattered by news of devastating tsunami

Japanese tourists shattered by news of devastating tsunami

Over 30 Japanese tourists, including 11 students, six of them women, of Keio University at Tokyo are a worried lot as they remain glued to TV sets in their hotel in this sea side town watching the devastation that hit Japan yesterday.

One of the students Katsube Saori said frantic attempts to call her parents in Tokyo over phone failed yesterday. She came to know of their safety through some friends back home.

Similar was the tale of Iino Ryoko, another student, who said, "We are worried about our near and dear ones and making all out efforts to know about them".

Seya Kensuki said, "We panicked on watching the devastation. Unable to contact our parents, we have sent e-mail message. We don't know if they can access Internet".

Septuagenerian tourist Takeyama Hideo of Tokyo said he was shcoked to hear the plight of people back home adding the yelling and screams for help was haunting him since yesterday.

The Japanese students are here to take part in a photo exhibition, organised by Indo-Japanese Friendship Centre, Orissa with the help of Consulate General of Japan at Kolkata.

The two-day exhibition commencing today to commemorate "Indo-Japan friendship in youthful grace and childlike simplicity between two old civilisations" would, however, be held as scheduled, Srimanta Kumar Dash, president of Indo-Japan Friendship Centre, Orissa, said.

The exhibition was being held as scheduled at a private hotel here. Dash, whose sister and brother-in-law are staying at Chida, close to the Sandai, the epicentre of the quake, could contact them last night.

"We are out of our house as aftershocks still wreck havoc in the area. We felt as if a monkey was shaking our house and we were falling off", Dash quoted the duo as having said.

Meanwhile, a sand-art by Sudam Pradhan on the golden beach here was held to pay homage to the victims of the catastrophe. The theme is Japan being hit by quake and tsunami and Lord Jagannath, he said.