Riverside mayor vows aid to tsunami-stricken sister city Sendai

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Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images

Japanese self defense personnel walk amongst a tsunami devastated town, close to the airport in Sendai on March 14, 2011.

The city of Riverside is getting ready to send help to its sister city in Japan - Sendai. The coastal city was one of the hardest hit by a tsunami last week in the wake of the magnitude 8.9 earthquake.

Its seaport and airport have been destroyed. Half of the city's 1 million people have no electricity in their homes.

Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge has been in contact with Sendai these past few days.

"Its city hall is part hospital, part homeless center, part nurse center of the city," Loveridge says. "I mean, people come there for water; they come for medical attention. It’s sort of the general store. With one wave the tsunami washed away people’s lives.”

Loveridge says his city will most likely raise money that’ll go specifically to the mayor of Sendai, so that reconstruction efforts can get underway as soon as possible.

Loveridge is in Washington, D.C. today for a mayors conference. He’ll meet with other Riverside city officials over the phone this afternoon to discuss the best way to help the devastated Japanese city.

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