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Locals Concerned About Loved Ones In Japan After Earthquake

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Waves of tsunami hit residences after a powerful earthquake in Natori, Miyagi prefecture (state), Japan, Friday, March 11, 2011. The largest earthquake in Japan's recorded history slammed the eastern coast Friday. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

Waves of tsunami hit residences after a powerful earthquake in Natori, Miyagi prefecture (state), Japan, Friday, March 11, 2011. The largest earthquake in Japan’s recorded history slammed the eastern coast Friday. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

BOSTON (CBS) – While it may be more than 6,000 miles away, the devastation in Japan after an earthquake and subsequent tsunami is having its effect on local residents.

RED CROSS HELPING LOCALS REACH LOVED ONES IN JAPAN

Phones were ringing off the hook at American Red Cross offices Friday as people tried to get information about friends and loved ones living or traveling in Japan.

Nicole Valentine, Director of Emergency Services and Public Affairs for the American Red Cross of Central Massachusetts had this advice:

“No word necessarily is not bad news at this point. We’re asking people to just be patient because it’s a very difficult time over there. Information is slow in coming and we’re allowing the emergency officials to do their work at this time.”

The Red Cross has a Safe and Well web site which allows Americans in Japan to register as safe and accounted for.

Valentine said you can also call the State Department at 888-407-4747.

SOMERVILLE CHURCH MOURNS AFTER JAPAN QUAKE

At Boston Japanese Christian Church in Somerville, the Friday night bible study became a prayer service for friends and loved ones in Japan.

“They see the images, they’re far away and can’t get a hold of people, They can’t do anything so they’re here for prayer, that’s all we can do,” said Pastor Ken Milhaus.

WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports.

Sayoko Crabtree, a church member with family and friends in Tokyo, is devastated about the news coming out of Japan.

“I could not sleep one moment last night. I stayed up all night as my country is going down under water,” said Crabtree.

LOCAL STUDENT HAPPY TO REACH FAMILY IN JAPAN

Japanese residents of the Boston area are having mixed success getting in touch with loved ones as the devastation of that nation’s worst earthquake and resulting tsunami is becoming evident.

WBZ News Radio 1030’s Lana Jones talked with a student at the Showa Institute in Jamaica Plain who has been in touch with family:

Related: How It Happened

Related: Complete Quake Coverage from CBS News

WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano contributed to this report.

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