Our Game Magazine spoke with Mami Yamaguchi a few days after Friday’s 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami hit Northeast Japan. Born in Tokyo, Yamaguchi, formerly of the Atlanta Beat of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS), was in Sweden with her club Hammarby when the earthquake struck Japan.
“Fortunately, my family and my friends are all safe. but I hear many sad news happened around my friends. They’ve been having really difficult days every second in Japan since Friday (March 11),” Yamaguchi said. “They say (the number of) people who were killed and lost in this disaster went over 10,000, and the number will increase. People are still threatened by small aftershocks and the leak of the radiation. I was talking with my mom, and she said the phone and internet stopped working after the earthquake, and (it’s) still not working well. I’ve been having a hard time to reach a couple of my friends. The calls sometimes fail while talking with my friends. Transportation has stopped, so people are having hard time getting around. Two of the oil refineries got ignited by this earthquake, so a couple oil companies stopped offering gasoline. Therefore, there are many places out of gasoline. I hear people are sending food, clothes, blankets, and money for the support, and people living in Japan are trying to save all the lights and electronic systems as much as they can.”
Yamaguchi urges everyone to donate to help the relief efforts. One way to donate is to send a text message to the Red Cross. Text REDCROSS to 90999 or make a donation online at www.redcross.org.