Surreal images of destruction and disaster, like something out of a movie, showing mother natures fury that shook Japan to its core with last week's 9.0 earthquake that triggered a massive tsunami. For Yuka Caspary the horrific scenes hit too close to home. Many of her family members still live in Japan, including her 84-year old mother. " After I talked to my mother and I saw the news, I was in shock", said Yuka Caspary, owner of the Japanese Blossom Restaurant.
Caspary's mother was not harmed in the earthquake or the tsunami, and her home in Chiba bares nothing more than a few cracks in the wall as proof of the devastation. But she told her daughter the ordeal was traumatizing. " She went outside and held onto a tree, she felt like three minutes was 30 minutes" said Caspary.
Caspary's cousin who lives in Ibaragi didn't fare as well. " His home is gone, it's just gone" said Caspary.
Caspary's mother's home is also less than 150 miles from the Fukushima Nuclear Plant where numerous explosions have occurred risking exposure to radiation. Caspary is heading to Japan on March 24th and hopes to bring her mother back to the states until the danger has passed. She is also staying for three weeks to help the red cross. " There are so many things I can do, there's a shortage of blood and food, we can make food" said Caspary.
Caspary is selling t-shirts at the Japanese Blosoom restaurant and is donating 5% of the proceeds on all restaurant sales from now until March 24th to the Red Cross. " Anything I can do, I just want to go there and help" said Caspary.
Members of the local Japanese community here in chico Are also organizing a fundraiser to help all the victims..
they're meeting tomorrow evening at 5:30 at the Upper Crust Bakery if you would like to help.