Mayor Dwaine Caraway sent a letter on Friday expressing the city's "deepest condolences" to his counterpart in Sendai, Japan, Mayor Emiko Okuyama. Caraway mentioned in the missive that his wife, state Rep. Barbara Mallory Caraway, had attended the Sendai International Marathon, and said, "Due to our years of people-to-people exchanges over the years, the tragedy that you have experienced has struck close to our city's heart."
Clearly, those "people-to-people exchanges" weren't unnoticed by the folks in Sendai, who sent along this response, courtesy of Chris Heinbaugh.
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This is Mika Katana, Sendai Cit, Japan.
Thank you very much for your warm message from your mayor, and I am very sorry that I could not reply you sooner.
As you can see the media, the huge earthquake and tsunami hit our city Sendai. The downtown area where our city hall is located hardly had serious damage while the area near the coast was totally devastated by tsunami. Many people in Sendai are suffering from this disaster.
People who resides in the coast area lost their houses and if the houses did not get any serious damage, most of houses in Sendai are still out of lifeline utilities. Some area of Sendai got electricity back a couple days ago, however, water and gas supplies are not still available in most of households.
Again, we are deeply appreciate the warm letter from your mayor Mr. Caraway. Your sincere message gives us strength and move us forward.