Suffolk family in Japan OK

Published 10:55 pm Friday, March 11, 2011

At least one family from Suffolk who found themselves in Japan when a massive earthquake struck Friday has gotten word to their relatives that they are OK.

The Young family — Henry, Ann and son Christian — sent out a message via Facebook that they were OK, said Henry and Ann’s niece, Sarah Chipman.

“They were able to do the mobile Facebook and put that they were evacuated at 1:30 a.m. this morning our time,” Chipman said Friday. “They’re in Okinawa, but they got moved. I don’t even know where.”

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The preliminary 8.9-magnitude earthquake shook the Pacific Rim nation Friday at 2:46 p.m. Japanese time. It set off a tsunami that later reached Hawaii and the American mainland’s west coast. Waves as high as 6.5 feet above normal sea level slammed the California coast.

If the 8.9 magnitude holds up, it would rank as the fifth-largest earthquake in the world since 1900 and the strongest ever to hit Japan.

At first, Chipman said, “We were very worried because we didn’t get any messages or anything.”

Chipman said her uncle is in the U.S. Navy and works in a hospital. The base had been under a mandatory evacuation. The Department of Defense reports that all service members in Japan have been accounted for, and there are no reports of injuries, according to Sen. Jim Webb’s office.

Webb issued a press release Friday with information for Virginians who have family affected by the earthquake or tsunami.

Constituents with specific inquiries about U.S. citizens in Japan should email the State Department at Those with specific inquiries about U.S. citizens in the tsunami zone outside of Japan should email

Information about the current travel situation in Japan can be gained by visiting

Those with family members serving in the military in Japan can direct inquiries to the Department of Defense at 1-800-342-9647 or contact the individual unit command directly for specific information.