Pregnant American Woman Survives Earthquake, Could Be Evacuated To Give Birth


An Iowa couple living in Japan could be facing possible evacuation with a baby due in just two weeks.

Airman First Class Michael Holben, 23 lives on an Air Base there with his wife, Kara, who is also 23.

Kara is 37 weeks pregnant and due to have Bryelle Ruth Holben on April 2.

They’re anxiously awaiting the outcome of nuclear power plants near Tokyo that were damaged in the massive 9.0 earthquake.  “The nuclear reactor situation would have to get really out of control” for them to evacuate, Holben said in an e-mail interview Monday with The World-Herald.

But if that time comes, “I don’t know where we would have to go and in what condition my wife would be at the time. God willing, we will have her (the baby) here on base in Japan.”

Holben, from Mondamin, was running errands on the base when the quake hit Friday. Kara, from Council Bluffs, was asleep.

“When she woke up, she yelled at me to stop shaking the bed. Of course, when she realized what was going on, she quickly ran to the doorway and crouched with the pets to ride it out,” Holben said.

The Holbens do not live in an area hit by the tsunami that killed thousands in the coastal areas of northeastern Japan.