Students return to school in Japan's disaster zone

Updated: 2011-04-21 17:56
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KESENNUMA, Japan - Many students along Japan's tsunami-torn northeastern coast are going back to school this week.

The school year that normally begins in early April was delayed for many communities struck by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. In Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate prefectures, more than 1,000 students and teachers are dead or missing, out of an overall death toll that could top 25,000.

With temporary housing still being built, many students are living in their own school's gymnasiums, while dealing with the loss of relatives, homes and classmates.

In the town of Kesennuma, 13-year-old Yuka Chiba lives on a tiny spot on the floor of a junior high school gym and says she's hoping to go back to a normal life soon.