President Obama Says Threats Against U.S. Are Minimal

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Airports across the nation, including Newark Liberty International, are paying close attention to passengers coming in from Japan.

They’re worried about radiation contamination.

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CBS 2’s Christine Sloan witnessed happy reunions on Thursday as a flight from Tokyo landed here in the States. The passengers were thankful to have escaped the tragedy that has devastated Japan, including the looming threat of radiation contamination.

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“Radiation-wise, currently, the government says it’s not too dangerous but you know, you’re never really sure about these things,” one passenger said.

But they said they were heartbroken to leave family behind and they’ve  lost to the tsunami.

“I was so shocked. And a lot of people, they still feel like they are in a nightmare,” one woman said.

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“I was in Tokyo earthquake hit us … shaking so much,” another woman said.

“It was horrible to watch, so many people missing and dying and they are forced to evacuate from their place 20 miles, 30 miles from their place, three our four times in the last few days.”

On Thursday, President Barack Obama reassured Americans that the threat from Japan’s most troubled nuclear power plant is minimal.

“We do not expect harmful levels of radiation to reach the United States, whether it’s the West Coast, Hawaii, Alaska or U.S. territories in the Pacific,” the president said.

Still, U.S. Customs and Border officials are carefully monitoring the potential for radiological contamination. In Taiwan’s airport they have been checking for traces of radiation. Still, one New Jersey resident was glad to be at airport waiting for his mom.

When asked if he’s concerned about the threat of radiation, Tokyo Naito of Lawrenceville, N.J., said, “I am concerned for people who live in Japan and also people who live in United States. I don’t know what will happen next.”

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