March 15, 2011 -- The U.S. State Department says it doesn't know exactly how many Americans are missing in Japan, but as many as 1,300 Americans may have been in northern Japan when Friday's quake and tsunami hit. American teachers, missionaries, students and businessmen were living in the hardest-hit areas.
Many families here are still receiving word, even just last night, that their loved ones are okay. But for others, waiting for news is agonizing.
"We last had contact with Bethany on Wednesday the 9th -- she was commenting on her Facebook that they had just had a 7.2 earthquake and she was noticing that there were a lot of earthquakes," Julie Davies, who is looking for her daughter in Japan, told "GMA."
Davies is literally sitting by the phone with a sick feeling her 26-year-old daughter Bethany may never call. But she refuses to lose hope.
"It's very heart-wrenching cause you see the bad pictures, it's very hopeful because you see the good pictures," said Davies.
Only a month ago, Bethany moved from Washington State to teach kindergarten in Ishinomaki Station, a village now partially submerged 10 miles north of Sendai.
"It's been amazing how much support and how many people that care about her have contacted me," said Davies.
The Davies are among a number of American families searching for their loved ones by phone and the internet, using services like Google's people finder, Facebook, and Twitter.
There is hope -- it took Ken Seagreaves, a teacher from Bethlehem, Pa., three days to finally get word to his parents after losing communication in Sendai.
"A nice guy just lent me his blackberry for a few seconds and I just typed out a message," said Seagreaves. "'Hey mom -- in Japan at refugee center safe and sound.'"
"I just screamed -- I don't even know who was in the house with me at the time, I just screamed come and look at this. I immediately got on the phone and e-mail and Facebook to let everybody know that we at least had an e-mail," said Judy Seagreaves, Ken's mother.
Father and Daughter Reunion
Roger Faris, who has been searching for any news of his daughter Amanda, who lives in Japan, was reunited with her on "GMA" this morning via phone.
"Done about everything I could to get ahold of you," Faris said to his daughter, who has been in her apartment but unable to contact anyone. "You didn't have any water or lights or anything in that apartment?"
"I've had nothing. My apartment building is still there which is really exciting because I swear it's made of paper. But a lot of the other people around me lost their houses and everything, so...it's pretty pretty bad out there," said Amanda, who also lost her car during the disaster. State Department officials say they are not aware of any confirmed reports of American casualties in Japan and have sent workers to all the affected areas -- in some cases they are personally searching for people.