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WMU students in Japan safe and accounted for

March 11, 2011

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KALAMAZOO--With 13 of its American students studying in Japan and nearly 40 Japanese students on its Kalamazoo campus, Western Michigan University officials have been working since dawn today to verify the safety of students and families who may have been impacted by today's earthquake and tsunami.

Using e-mail, text messages, Facebook, Twitter and phone, staff members in WMU's Haenicke Institute for Global Education have been able to verify that:

  • Thirteen WMU students in Japan are safe, and most have already been in touch with their families. Nine are in the Tokyo region, one in Otaru and three are in Kyoto.

  • Fourteen Japanese exchange students are on campus. University officials have been in contact with all and are aware of one case in which the student has not yet been able to reach a parent.

  • An additional 24 Japanese students are independently enrolled in academic programs or English language classes on the WMU campus. The University is in the process of reaching out to each of them.

Quake and tsunami expert available

In addition, a WMU geoscientist is available on campus today to talk about the earthquake and tsunami. Dr. David Barnes, professor of geoscience is an expert on sedimentology and the geology of the Japan Sea basin. He has spent time on a research vessel in the Sea of Japan. He can be reached at (269) 387-8617.

For additional information or contacts as they become available, contact Cheryl Roland in the WMU Office of University Relations at (269) 387-8412.

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Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400