News / Asia

    Survivors Pulled From Wreckage Nine Days After Japan Quake

    Eighty-year-old Sumi Abe is helped by emergency workers after being rescued from under the rubble in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan, March 20 , 2011
    Eighty-year-old Sumi Abe is helped by emergency workers after being rescued from under the rubble in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan, March 20 , 2011

    Multimedia

    Henry Ridgwell

    Japanese rescuers have pulled an 80-year-old woman and her grandson alive from the wreckage of their home in Miyagi Prefecture, nine days after an earthquake and tsunami devastated the region.

    It is the good news story that the Japanese people have been craving.

    An  80-year-old woman and her 16-year-old grandson - found alive and pulled to safety from the wreckage of their house in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture.

    Local media report they survived by eating yoghurt from the fridge.

    They have survived nine nights of freezing temperatures and heavy snow.  The boy is reported to have a low temperature, but is conscious.

    It will reinvigorate the rescue effort here.

    For days, Japanese and international teams have searched up and down the wrecked local coastline in vain. Miyagi police say 15,000 people probably died in their prefecture.

    On a windswept embankment surrounded by rice paddies and wrecked houses lies the body of a teenage boy. The boy, wrapped in blankets, lies near the town of Natori in Miyagi, a nameless corpse yet to be collected and taken to the overwhelmed morgue.

    Rescuers say there are many more bodies among the wreckage of this town.  The rest of the missing, they say, were probably washed out to sea.

    Natori was on the frontline when the tsunami smashed into the shoreline. Anyone who had not escaped this flat coastal plain had little chance.

    Now a clock hanging from the remains of a house here is frozen at 2:46 - the moment the earthquake struck.

    At the nearby Tozen-ji shrine, Yukihiro Soga cuts a lonely figure.  The granite gravestones lie smashed across the grounds, the shrine building one of the few in the town to still be standing.

    Soga has come here to collect the bones of his parents.

    “It is not so hard to sift through the soil, the bone fragments are much lighter than the stones,” says he.

    It may seem a grim task, but Soga says it is his duty to his parents.

    “The power of the human race is nothing compared to nature he says. We have to live in harmony with nature. The tsunami caused such huge destruction that I do not feel anger. I am lucky that my family all survived this. So we have a new start - we start from zero. I am going to live here with nature. My roots are here. My parents are here."

    Like Soga, thousands of people up and down the coastline have felt the full force of nature, and must now start from zero.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    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.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora