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YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Military families on bases in the greater Tokyo area spent Sunday recovering from the shock of Friday’s earthquake, while remaining concerned about what lies ahead.

Among the thousands of family members living at military bases in the area was Erin Wieder, of Allentown, Pa., The earthquake violently shook Wieder’s Yokosuka Naval Base tower apartment for more than two minutes Friday.

“I live on the eighth floor and my children are scared to death to go back,” Wieder said. “We haven’t been home since Friday afternoon.”

Shannon Temple, of Oak Harbor, Wash., said she wanted to hear from command where she could find out how many more aftershocks to expect, and whether tsunamis were still a threat at the base, which lies on the Miura Peninsula coast.

“We need better communication and information,” Temple said.

A 6-foot wave entered the protected Yokosuka harbor Friday night, but was barely noticeable at the base. Significant aftershocks are expected to continue for the next several days, according to reports. Japan has suffered more than two dozen aftershocks of more than 6.0 magnitude since Friday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The aftershocks remained a worry for multiple residents. Parents said they weren’t convinced that they should send their children to school Monday, fearing for both aftershocks and any undiscovered structural damage to buildings.

“Before I send my children to school, I need to know that it’s safe,” said Beth Ehring, of San Diego.

On Sunday afternoon, Yokosuka officials reiterated that the base would operate normally Monday.

“We didn’t sustain any damage or have any problems with the structural integrity of our facilities,” said Yokosuka spokeswoman Michelle Stewart.

Residents at Yokosuka and Yokota Air Base also found themselves parsing conflicting news reports about the extent of damage at nuclear power plants in Fukushima prefecture, about 170 miles north of Tokyo.

“Specifically, I’m concerned about the plant,” said Staff Sgt. Michael Peralta of the 374th Forward Support Squadron, who spent the day stocking up on emergency supplies and listening for news of any potential nuclear disaster.

Some residents asked each other whether they should be taking iodine as a hedge against potential radiation fallout, based on news reports they had heard.

For the time being, medical and base officials say residents should not fear any radiological poisoning. At Yokota Air Base, no increased levels of radiation were found following a test Sunday.

Stewart said command officials at Yokosuka were just as concerned about the situation in Fukushima as its residents.

“If there is a need to take safety precautions at [Yokosuka], we will do that,” Stewart said.

Steven Jones, of Bremerton, Wash., said he wasn’t too worried about radiation, but instead feared for anyone who might be suffering in one of the towns battered by the tsunamis.

“What a tragedy,” said Jones, a civilian who was aboard the USS George Washington when the earthquake hit. “I can only wish those people the very best. I’m counting my blessings, because we were pretty fortunate here.”

Stars and Stripes reporter Grant Okubo contributed to this report.

slavine@pstripes.osd.mil

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