ABC7 spoke to one mother who is desperately trying to contact her son.
Cynthia Young, of Marquette Park, does not know whether her son, Edward Clemons, is alive. The 25-year-old has been living in one of the hardest-hit areas on the coastline in Sendai.
Clemons studied abroad in Japan and decided to stay. He has been in Sendai teaching English for close to two years. Young says she does know he was entering a classroom building when the earthquake struck.
"He had sent a Facebook message letting everyone know he was OK, but the building was trembling that they were about to enter which was the school and that the grounds were separating," said Young.
Young says her son loved living in Japan and teaching at the school. He lived for his students, she says, and even had his 13-year-old sister, Briana, writing to his class.
The mother says she has contacted senators, the embassy, the State Department and the Jet School Program that got him the teaching job and is only directed to websites.
"The last website that I saw, it said that he was alive as of March 11. And then it also stated 'things may have changed,'" Young said.
Young says she believes that if her son could contact her, he would. She questions if he is alive and in a shelter.
Not knowing is driving Young crazy.
"I'm on pins and needles until I can hear something from him, if someone can find him and let me know where he is, is he in a shelter...I need to know," said Young. "I just want to hear my son's voice saying, 'Mom, I'm OK."
Young was planning on visiting her son with her daughter in June.