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Everett’s sister city in Japan heavily damaged by tsunami

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By Mike Benbow
Herald Writer
The Japanese city of Ishinomaki, which has a sister-city relationship with the Port of Everett, was among the communities hardest hit by the tsunami Friday, and local officials still have been unable to contact anyone there.
"Everything is so uncertain right now," said the port's spokeswoman, Lisa Lefeber.
The community signed an agreement with the port in 1994 when both were heavily involved in shipping logs.
The Port of Everett is no longer in the log exporting business, but it has continued its relationship with Ishinomaki.
Most summers, students from Ishinomaki visit Everett through an exchange program operated by the Nippon Business Institute at Everett Community College.
Lefeber said the institute has been trying to reach contacts at Ishinomaki without success.
The community is about 10 miles from the epicenter of the earthquake that created the tsunami and much of it was underwater water or severely damaged. A video on YouTube shows a huge ship lying on its side and water covering much of the port area.
Port Director John Mohr and Port Commission Chairman Mark Wolken had planned a trip to visit several Japanese ports in the middle of April.
They had not planned to visit Ishinomaki or other ports in that region, but they were going to visit Hiroshima and Toyko. Lefeber said the trip is on hold because the State Department has asked people to delay trips to Japan for now.
Story tags » Disasters & AccidentsPort of Everett



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