Twinning Society cancels Japan visit

Two Campbell River students staying in Ishikari are fine following last week’s massive earthquake and tsunami.

Two Campbell River students staying in Ishikari are fine following last week’s massive earthquake and tsunami.

“We’re all abundantly aware of the situation in Japan but I can report that the Campbell River Twinning Society has been in touch with the staff in Ishikari and has ensured that both senior students (Jesse and Jessica) are safe and well,” said Coun. Andy Adams, a director of the Twinning Society, at Tuesday’s council meeting.

The pair of high school students, one from Carihi and one from Timberline, are studying in Campbell River’s sister city, Ishikari, this year as part of an exchange program.

Adams said the local Twinning Society has been in touch with Ishikari’s Twinning Society and discussions have been continuing as to whether or not the two students will be sent home.

“It’s really hour by hour,” said Adams. “We’re trying to get the most up-to-date information to make a determination but ultimately it’s the parents decision.”

Fortunately, the island of Hokkaido, where Ishikari is located, was not largely impacted by the earthquake or tsunami.

“A six-foot wave and minor flooding hit the eastern side of Hokkaido but Ishikari was not affected nor has it been experiencing any rolling blackouts (like the harder hit parts of Japan),” said Adams.

Although Ishikari was spared, the same can’t be said for other communities in the country. Because of the risks, this year’s group of Young Ambassadors (11 students, ages 11-14) has had their trip to Ishikari cancelled indefinitely.

The city is sending $5,000, from the City Ishikari Reserve Fund, to Ishikari to distribute to victims of the disaster as deemed appropriate.

Armitage said the Young Ambassadors will be instrumental in the Twinning Society’s campaign to raise funds to aid those affected in the stricken regions of Japan.

Anyone who would like to make a donation to the relief efforts in Japan through Ishikari can visit society website: twinningcr.bc.ca