Metro Detroit mom working to reach son studying in Japan following earthquake

Mom trying to contact son following earthquake in Japan
Posted at 8:31 PM, Jan 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-01 23:30:47-05

(WXYZ) — A 7.5 magnitude earthquake has claimed four lives in Japan, and the impact is also being felt here in Metro Detroit.

Parent Gail Johnson from Westland says she’s been desperately trying to reach her son since that earthquake in Japan, and her fears are growing with each hour that passes.

“He wanted to go to Japan because I was there at one point, and he also wanted to study medicine and understand life and other people,” says Johnson.

She says nothing is more important than the safety of her 21-year-old son Noah Chukwuma.

Noah is a student at Kalamazoo College, but has been studying abroad for the past 4 months.

“He’s in Kikyona Chiga. It’s our sister city for Michigan and the university is right there on the tip of the ocean,” says Johnson. She adds that since the earthquake that struck Monday on the west coast, she’s been unable to get in touch with her son.

“I spoke to him last night at midnight our time. He called to say happy new year. How you're doing? He said he would call again today, but when I tried to contact him, or his professors, I couldn’t reach any of them,” says Johnson.

Tsunami advisories and aftershocks, are also adding to stress tonight.

“I want to make sure he’s OK and he’s going to return home in two months safely,” adds Johnson.

She is also concerned about the safety of some of Noah’s classmates, who also are from Kalamazoo College.

We’ll continue to bring you developments as soon as they happen.