American Teacher Among Japan Disaster Victims

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Authorities have identified the first known American victim of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Taylor Anderson, 24, taught English in Japan.Her body was found in Ishinomaki, a city about 240 miles north of Tokyo.

Anderson survived the earthquake and helped evacuate her students to higher ground. Her family said she was last seen after the quake riding her bike away from the Ishinomaki elementary school once she knew the children were safe.

The tsunami struck shortly after that.

Anderson's family said authorities in Japan called them Monday to confirm their daughter's death.

"We would like to thank all those whose prayers and support have carried us through this crisis," said Andy and Jean Anderson, who live in Chesterfield County south of Richmond, Va.

"Please continue to pray for all who remain missing and for the people of Japan," they continued. "We ask that that you respect our privacy during this hard time."

Authorities first told the Andersons their daughter had survived the tsunami, but the American Embassy later admitted it was mistaken.

Anderson was five months away from returning to the United States.

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