DENVER (CBS4) – Anyone with family in Japan has been watching the images all day long on Friday of fire and rubble and flooding. For one Colorado father with a loved one in Tokyo, the ability to communicate over the Internet has been vital.

The images of flooding and destruction are enough to make anyone cringe.

“It’s just horrible, I can’t comprehend I,” Luke Clarke said.

For Clarke the image of a loved one also comes to mind. Clarke’s son Patrick is a graduate student studying in Tokyo.

“Hearing it from his mouth, and hearing from him that he’s okay was a tremendous relief,” Clarke said.

Visit for the latest on the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Using Skype, Patrick told his father he was doing laundry when the quake hit.

“It got to the point where my heart rate started going up and I was freaking out and running to the door jam and things were falling off the walls and off the shelves,” Patrick said.

Clarke said besides seeing the devastation on TV, he’s spent the rest of the day fielding calls from worried family.

Patrick is okay, but says feeling the earth rumble was pretty unpleasant.

“It’s a shaking, rocking feeling that because you have no control over it you get scared very quickly,” Patrick said.

Soon after communications began to fail.

“The cell phones were kind of dodgy, not working too well,” Patrick said.

Clarke says he grateful for the technology that has been working.

“I can’t tell you how great that is because today would have been miserable,” Clarke said.

There are several other students from Colorado who are in Japan. Two are students from Colorado State University and 14 students from the University of Colorado. Each school has confirmed those students are okay. Their families also have to endure the news of strong aftershocks that continue to rattle Japan.


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