Del. family awaits word from loved one in Japan

March 16, 2011 3:26:02 PM PDT
It is Day 5 for a family in Dover, Delaware awaiting to hear from their loved one.

The family has not spoken to or been in contact with Jessica Besecker for almost a week and, as each day passes, the anxiety and worry grows.

"It's been very frustrating not hearing from her; we're just trying to locate her and just make sure she is safe," Jessica's mother Karen Nagyiski said.

Jessica Besecker was teaching English in a junior high school in Kesennuma, Japan when the massive earthquake hit.

"Unfortunately the majority of her city was on fire, there's a lot of damage, there's ships washed up in the harbor; just looking at the pictures, it makes your heart drop because you just don't know," Karen said.

Initially, Jessica's mother had a sense of relief.

After the earthquake, Jessica posted a message on Facebook saying "Huge quake. Will update later. So Far it's all ok. Kids are safe."

But that was before the devastating tsunami that followed and since then the family has had no contact or updates.

"We don't know after the tsunami, the area has been devastated; her apartment building, we looked on the satellite, is nothing but rubble," Jessica's aunt Sharon Ponsell said.

So their frantic search for answers continues.

The two have been glued to their computers, Facebooking her friends, checking the Red Cross' Family Links program, and even contacting journalists reporting from the area.

"I stay up most of the night, even my breaks at work, I try to get on there and look, we've been searching videos, YouTube video, looking for any sight of her," Karen said.

Despite their worry, the family remains upbeat because they believe Jessica is safe.

With almost all communication cut off, they pray she simply cannot access the internet or phone service, and now they just wait.

"I'm very glad other people have been reunited, I just wish I was one of them," Sharon said.

Jessica was set to return here to the United States in August. That's when her 3-year teaching program would end, but for now, her family would simply be satisfied with an email or phone call.

RELATED: Search the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) site to see if loved ones in the quake zone have checked in to say they are okay

RELATED: To help, visit and donate to Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami. You can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the recovery effort

RELATED: Watch videos of the earthquake and tsunami as they happened in Japan

Emergency Information

For emergency information, assistance, and locating family in connection with earthquake in Japan:

Phone numbers in US and Japan:

202 559 4683
800 373 1110
0570 000 911
011 81 90 7170 4769
011 81 90 3080 6711