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Jessica Colby, left, and her sister, Allison Colby, in March in Japan. Jessica and her family in Velva, N.D., finally heard from Allison early this morning. They hadn't heard from Allison since a tsunami hit Friday near Sendai Japan, where she was living. Special to The Forum

North Dakota native Allison Colby alive and well in Japan

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North Dakota native Allison Colby alive and well in Japan
Perham Minnesota 222 2nd Avenue SE 56573

Jessica Colby and her family in Velva, N.D., got the news they had waited for since an earthquake hit Japan Friday: Jessica's younger sister, Allison, is alive and well.

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Allison Colby, a 24-year-old living in Kamimachi, Japan, where she taught English, escaped unharmed by both the earthquake and a tsunami that devastated Sendai - a city of about 1 million just to her south.

"She was all right," Jessica said this morning. "She just sounded exhausted."

Electricity to Kamimachi, located in Miyagi Prefecture, was restored Monday night, and Allison was able to get word via text message at about 6 this morning to Jessica in Velva for the first time since just after the quake.

"It's amazing," Jessica said. "Just the relief I can't even explain. ... Now it's just getting her home."

Allison and a fellow English teacher have access to water, but food and gas are becoming hard to find, Jessica said.

"They're having trouble driving anywhere," Jessica said. "Sendai is starting to become a little scary."

Allison plans to take a plane to Osaka, Japan, and eventually home, but it could be a while, Jessica said.

"Just getting out of the north would be wonderful," Jessica said.

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