Japanese ties tug at local residents as crisis deepens

Area residents with ties to Japan are grappling with worry and disbelief as the impact of Friday's earthquake and tsunami grows worse.

"It's still not hitting me much because I was in Japan till few days ago and it was so peaceful. I still can't believe it," Ashley Uyeda, a Southern Adventist University student who grew up in Japan, said in an e-mail.

Her mother lives in Chiba, a district in the Tokyo area, and wrote her an e-mail this weekend saying that Tokyo residents are doing everything they can to conserve electricity.

"Our area will have our electricity turned off for about 3.5 hours in the morning and 3.5 hours in the afternoon. They are saying that there isn't enough electricity to last very long, so everyone has to help."