Japan's Earthquake Leaves International Students Uneasy
October 25, 2004 4:20 PM
A large earthquake struck Japan, Saturday, Oct. 23, killing at least 23, injuring 2,300 and leaving seven people missing, according to the New York Times today.
Japan’s National Police Agency reported that the magnitude of 6.8, which happened in Niigata Prefecture 125 north of Tokyo, caused 52 landslides and destroyed 1,206 commercial or public buildings and 2,583 homes. Little quakes are still continuously happening in the area.
SF State holds 444 international students from Japan, according to Jay Ward, coordinator for international student services. Some Japanese students were scared and concerned about their family when they heard the news.
Yasunori Nakano from Tokyo called his parents Sunday to see if everything was fine with them in Japan.
“There have been a lot of unusual natural disasters. Several Hurricanes in Florida and Japan just had a big typhoon (it killed 88 people two weeks ago),” said the 28-year-old Management Business Administration graduate student.
“I would go home if something like that happened in my hometown,” said Nakano, who was glad the quake did not happen in Tokyo.
Kozue Kamamoto, 20, has a friend from Niigata, who is attending school in Reno and called her yesterday.
“She said that a part of her parents’ home was damaged and glass broke all over the floor. Her parents are currently sleeping in the car,” said Kamamoto, a sophomore in broadcast major.
SF State has a full refund policy for students if they decided to leave the country for an emergency. Students have to submit a form called “Petition for Waiver of Financial Regulations,” to receive a full refund from the school, according to Devon Flynn, refund technician. The petition must have a proof of the emergency and after 3-4 weeks of approving process by the committee, the school would send a check with the full refund.
Students have to make sure they drop the classes before they leave, Flynn said.
The form is available either at the Bursar’s office in the Administration Building or the Web site.
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