Abbotsford man safe with family in Japan

Andy and Darlene Bowman of Abbotsford are shown with their son Dero, his wife Masayo and son Eito who live in Japan.   -
Andy and Darlene Bowman of Abbotsford are shown with their son Dero, his wife Masayo and son Eito who live in Japan.
— image credit:

Andy and Darlene Bowman of Abbotsford heard from their son Dero in Japan on Saturday, and he is safe and sound with his wife and seven-year-old son.

As reported in the Abbotsford News, the couple were among those around the world waiting to hear word from loved ones following the 8.9-magnitude earthquake that hit Japan late Thursday night.

Dero and his family live on Rokko Island, near Osaka, which is about 600 km southwest of Sendai, the area most devastated by the quake and the tsunami that followed.

Andy said his son was at home in their 14th-floor apartment when he felt the suite move back and forth "about a foot each way," but there was no damage.

His grandson, Eito, was walking home from school when he observed the river suddenly splashing up against its bank.

Andy said the area experienced a small tsunami, but the berm around the island held any damage at bay.

Meanwhile, staff at Abbotsford city hall have heard from their contacts in Abbotsford's sister city, Fukagawa, located about 600 km north of the epicentre.

Mayor George Peary said no damage occurred in the area.

"I'm sure they felt some shaking, though," he said.

Fraser Valley Japanese School in Abbotsford is collecting donations for earthquake relief. For more information, contact Satomi Knudsen at 604-853-3849.

Donations may also be made through the Canadian Red Cross at, or through Mennonite Central Committee BC at or by mail at Box 2038, 31414 Marshall Rd., Abbotsford, V2T 3T8. Payments should be designated to "Japan Earthquake Relief."

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