By Kristen Johanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)A series of earthquakes and aftershocks in Japan has killed more than 40 people, and left 15-hundred people are injured. As crews continue rescue efforts, Japanese natives from around the world are feeling the aftermath of their country’s devastation–including here in Philadelphia, where an annual festival that celebrates Japanese culture has been taking place all week.

Chie Matsumura has been serving as one of the hosts, during the Cherry Blossom Festival‘s traditional tea ceremonies which takes place inside Fairmount Park’s Shofuso Japanese House. But her heart is with the people in Japan.

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“It’s so devastating, and people are actually gathered in small community center, and the kids look so tired,” Matsumura said.

Taeko Shervin leads the group.

“I watching TV, I have Japan TV, and I said- WHAT? I just went there,” Shervin said.

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(Photo credit: KYW's Kristen Johanson)

(Photo credit: KYW’s Kristen Johanson)

Both have been tracking the news, paying close attention to what their country is going through and are thankful their families are safe.

“Our family is OK, but Japan is not. That is what my brother said.”

Matsumura says she hopes the festival brings Japan’s crisis to light, helping to gain the aid they will need to rebuild.

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“It’s so heartbreaking,” she said.