BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. - Annie Wang on Bonita Springs waits anxiously for a phone call or an e-mail delivering the good news she's been praying for.
"I called," Wang said. "I called and nobody answered so I started to worry. Then I tried to e-mail and Skype."
Friday morning when she turned on the TV, she saw the devastation. "The sea, the waves, too high," Wang said.
Her sister lives near Tokyo, not far from where the 8.9 magnitude earthquake shook Japan. Annie, who grew up in China, and later lived in Japan, remembers the terror of experiencing a 4.5 magnitude quake - half of what rattled the country yesterday.
"The table went boom boom boom, and the light, gong gong gong," Wang described. "The Japanese are used to it, but this is different. This is really high, 8.9."
Friday night, she tried searching for her sister on the Red Cross family locator website, ICRC.org. The site helps families all over the world reconnect with missing loved ones in disaster. No luck yet, but she plans to keep trying. Until then, she looks through pictures of her sister, looking forward to seeing her smile in-person.
"Hopefully she's okay," Wang said. "I worry about her."
Another resource for finding family is at Google.com It's called Google Crisis Response, and it has people finder that allows you to search names related to the earthquake. The American Red Cross is already in on the efforts to aid those in Japan.
Just over a year ago, they were assisting victims of the Haiti earthquake. WINK News spoke with Lee County Executive Director Heidi Ruster right after she got off a conference call with other chapters nationwide. She says this effort will be a bit different from what they did in Haiti since Japan's infrastructure is so strong.
In Japan, many of the buildings withstood even a greater than Haiti because of their capabilities to take care of themselves in this case," Ruster said. "How people can get involved is primarily is through financial donations at this point."
The Japanese Red Cross has 18 teams out assisting victims of the earthquake and tsunami. Several shelters have also been opened on our west coast. To help, you can go to RedCross.org, text a donation to 90999, or drop off a donation at any local Red Cross.