News / Asia

Japanese Rescuers Amazed at Survival of Boy, Grandmother

80-year-old Sumi Abe (C) is helped by emergency workers after being rescued from under the rubble in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan, in this picture taken by Nikkei Shimbun on March 20 , 2011
80-year-old Sumi Abe (C) is helped by emergency workers after being rescued from under the rubble in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan, in this picture taken by Nikkei Shimbun on March 20 , 2011
Martyn Williams

A 16-year-old boy and his 80-year-old grandmother were in stable condition in a hospital on Monday after being rescued from the ruins of their home nine days after it was destroyed by a powerful tsunami. The number of dead or missing from the combined magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami now stands at almost 22,000, and continues to rise.

For a team of four rescue workers it was an amazing find.

While walking through the ruins of Ishinomaki, a coastal city that was destroyed by a tsunami more than 3 meters high, they heard a faint voice crying out.

Yoichi Seino, leader of the police rescue squad, spoke to the media on Monday and described what happened next.

Seino said his team immediately moved towards the voice. They found something that astonished them: 16 year-old Jin Abe on the rooftop of a destroyed house that he'd been trapped in for nine days. He'd managed to climb out and alert rescuers.

Still inside was his grandmother, Sumi, who reportedly burst into tears upon seeing rescuers.

The two were lucky. They had been trapped in the kitchen. Blankets were within reach to help them make it through freezing nights, and a few scraps in the refrigerator provided some nourishment.

On Monday Jin spoke to Japanese reporters from his hospital bed.

In a weak voice, he said he did not remember much about the tsunami hitting the house or his nine days trapped inside.

Jin looked exhausted and spoke few words.  But Michio Kobayashi, a doctor at the Japanese Red Cross Hospital in Ishinomaki, told a news conference that both Jin and his grandmother are doing well.

The doctor said both have been talking and have been eating food. When given a dish of white rice, both said it tasted delicious.

The rescue was broadcast on television Sunday afternoon, and made headlines around the world.

But more rescues are not likely. On Monday, the governor of hard-hit Miyagi prefecture, where Jin and his grandmother were found, told relief workers to turn their attention towards helping the 350,000 people living in shelters.

You May Like

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid