Mother waits for call from daughter in Japan disaster

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A HALIFAX mum is desperately praying for news from her daughter stuck in the middle of the massive quake disaster in Japan.

Janet Sykes, from Boothtown, last spoke to 30-year-old Stephanie on Friday when she rang saying: “Don’t worry. I love you, Mum” before the line went dead.

Since then, other members of Janet’s family have managed to contact Stephanie and she has posted messages on Facebook.

“She says there are aftershocks all the time,” said Janet. “She is stuck inside taking iodine tablets to avoid radiation poisoning.

“They’ve got a plan ready if they need to be evacuated.”

Stephanie lives in Saitama-Ken, near Tokyo, which is still experiencing regular aftershocks.

Yesterday there were warnings that another powerful earthquake was likely to strike.

There have been two explosions at a nuclear plant damaged in Friday’s earthquake.

Janet was woken by a call from Stephanie early on Friday when she rang to say she was OK and not to worry.

The mum-of-three did not appreciate the full scale of the disaster until she switched on the TV news.

“I felt sick,” said Janet. “I just kept thinking ‘I don’t want to lose her’.”

Stephanie had been teaching when the earthquake struck, and at first could not get in touch with her husband, Tsubasa Saito, who works in Tokyo.

In a message to her mum she said: “We are pretty stressed and tired but can’t sleep.

“There was just another earthquake, thankfully smaller than the last, but the epicentre is getting closer to us.

“We are shaking around every 10 minutes but are still OK and have each other for support! Your support is helping too!”

Janet moved to Canada with her parents when she was a teenager and came to Halifax 10 months ago.

Stephanie moved to Japan six years ago to teach English. She met Tsubasa there and they married a year ago.

“She’s such a positive person,” said Janet. “Even in the most difficult situations.

“I just keep on praying for everyone there.”