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Quake concerns locals

There were some tense moments last Friday as Central Albertans waited to connect with friends and family in earthquake ravaged Japan and other tsunami threatened countries.

There were some tense moments last Friday as Central Albertans waited to connect with friends and family in earthquake ravaged Japan and other tsunami threatened countries.

Bowden Grandview vice-principal Gail Thompson said a student at the school on exchange from Japan was able to confirm later in the day that her family was unharmed in the 8.9 earthquake.

She said school officials also confirmed that day that two former students who had left Bowden two days prior to go back to Japan were also unharmed.

The earthquake, described as the worst in Japan’s history, triggered a tsunami warning across 20 countries along the Pacific coast.

Sundre Round Up editor Dan Singleton was vacationing in Maui, Hawaii when the warnings began.

“Things are tense here, a bit alarming,” said Singleton after being allowed to return back to his beach-front hotel Friday morning.

He and wife Lori were forced to evacuate to higher ground last Thursday night amidst threats of a tsunami.

Singleton was watching the news that night and caught coverage of the Japanese earthquake that hit the Pacific Ocean near northeastern Japan about 2:46 p.m. (local time) on March 11.

“A few minutes later alarms were going off,” Singleton said. “They were air raid sirens, tsunami warnings. We were to be out of the area by 2 a.m.”

Upon their return to their hotel the next morning, Singleton said the beaches were still closed but no widespread damage was noticeable.