KZOO Radio provides disaster information to Hawaii's Japanese community

Robyn Furuya
Robyn Furuya
Hiromi Tamba
Hiromi Tamba

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

MOILIILI (HawaiiNewsNow) - KZOO Radio has been providing non-stop coverage of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

The Japanese language station has been broadcasting in Honolulu for 48 years. The non-English speaking community here relies on it for crucial information in times of emergencies.

"We're designated by the state of Hawaii as well as the Japan consulate for emergencies and natural disaster situations to get the word out to the Japanese community as well as the tourists," Robyn Furuya, KZOO general manager, said.

Radio announcer Hiromi Tamba has been working the microphone, while worrying about his father who lives in Sendai.

"I haven't been able to actually reach him yet," Tamba said. "But I could reach my cousin who told me that they saw my father, so he's okay."

During his on-air shift on Saturday, Tamba choked back tears while taking calls from listeners.

"This is one of the things that I have to do, so I try to compose myself, I guess," he said. "But I'm kind of an emotional person, so sometimes, yeah, I kind of break down a little bit."

Three years ago, KZOO received a state grant to purchase a generator so that it can stay on air even when the power goes out.

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