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

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora