Japan Earthuake and tsunami: Four days on, the survivors of the deadly tsunami

// Odd | Japan Earthuake and tsunami: Four days on, the survivors of the deadly tsunami
Email to a friend Plain text Print version // Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

By Richard Shears
Last updated at 9:09 AM on 16th March 2011

Four days after the deadly tsunami swept through her village, picking up her house and carrying it for hundreds of yards, a 70-year-old woman was found yesterday – still inside.

She was still clinging to her furniture as tightly as if it were her life.

Her remarkable survival amid a scene of absolute devastation is yet one more ‘great escape’ that has brought hope to hundreds of thousands who wait for news of their missing loved ones.

Joy: Two young schoolboys prepare to hug each other after they realise each other is safe at a school in the north east of Japan

Joy: Two young schoolboys prepare to hug each other after they realise each other is safe at a school in the north east of Japan

Memories: A fireman looks through a family photo album he discovered among the ruins of a building in the town of Otsuchi

Memories: A fireman looks through a family photo album he discovered among the ruins of a building in the town of Otsuchi

Success: Rescuers yesterday pulled a 20-year-old man from the wreckage in the town of Ishimaki, while a four-month-old baby was reunited with her parents on Monday after she was found crying in the debris

Emotional reunion: A woman greets Yuki Yamazaki, 3, as he is reunited with his mother for the first time in four days at a shelter

Emotional reunion: A woman greets Yuki Yamazaki, 3, as he is reunited with his mother for the first time in four days at a shelter

The grandmother, shivering with cold, her face bruised, was still able to smile at her rescuers who had arrived in Soma village from the Osaka fire department.

The team had arrived to help in what they expected to be a search for bodies, rather than in any real hope of finding  anyone still alive.

 

So when they entered the badly damaged house, perched so far from its original position, they were stunned to find the lady inside.

‘We were very surprised,’ said fire department spokesman Yuko Kotani.

Doing what she can: Five-year-old Neena Sasaki carries some of the family belongings from her home that was destroyed

Doing what she can: Five-year-old Neena Sasaki carries some of the family belongings from her home that was destroyed

Grim task: A survivor looks through the wreckage of her home for anything she can salvage while another survivor shows off family photographs she managed to pull from the rubble

Break in: Two men who discovered a safe among the rubble try to jimmy it open us. Both said it was theirs and that it was washed way from a restaurant they owned when the tsunami struck

Break in: Two men who discovered a safe among the rubble try to jimmy it open us. Both said it was theirs and that it was washed way from a restaurant they owned when the tsunami struck

She added: ‘We were looking for victims, not really survivors.’

The woman was wrapped in blankets and carried by four men through the rubble of her village to a stretcher, before being taken to hospital.
‘She was suffering from hypothermia  but appears to be OK otherwise,’ said  Miss Kotani.

It was not the only remarkable rescue yesterday – a 20-year-old man was found lying amid the rubble of the devastated town of Ishimaki in the hard-hit Miyagi province.

Evacuation: A clearly distressed elderly resident from the city of Hachinohe is helped from his home by soldiers

Evacuation: A clearly distressed elderly resident from the city of Hachinohe is helped from his home by soldiers

A mother and her daughter who said that there was nothing left of their home pick their way through the mud and debris left behind by the tsunami

A mother and her daughter who said that there was nothing left of their home pick their way through the mud and debris left behind by the tsunami

He appeared too traumatised to discuss his ordeal in detail but said: ‘I was washed away by the tsunami, but I’m all right.’

The two rescues four days after the tsunami, when the chances of finding anyone alive seemed to have plummeted, came the day after searchers found a four-month-old baby girl crying in the rubble of her devastated town of Ishinomaki.

She was later reunited with her grateful parents, who told rescuers they thought they would never see her alive again.

Search: A British team of aid workers, part of 220 who are already in the area, look for any survivors under the roof of a destroyed home in Ofunato

Search: A British team of aid workers, part of 220 who are already in the area, look for any survivors under the roof of a destroyed home in Ofunato

Rescuers: British workers make their way through the debris to the scene of their next rescue attempt in Ofunato

Rescuers: British workers make their way through the debris to the scene of their next rescue attempt in Ofunato

The baby’s rescue was a story that touched hearts around the world – and left the hundreds of thousands in emergency shelters along Japan’s north-east coast praying that similar good news would come about their own missing loved ones.

Shivering as an icy blast swept over the region – bringing snow to higher ground and plunging temperatures to two or more degrees below centigrade – the homeless wonder what will become of them.

‘What do we do next?’ asked a young woman.

Clean up: A woman holds a broom as she prepares to start searching through the rubble of her home

Clean up: A woman holds a broom as she prepares to start searching through the rubble of her home

Squatting amid the ruins: A woman cooks for her family in front of their devastated house in Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture (left) while an older survivor swaddles herself in blankets and gloves at makeshift shelter at Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture

Not so lucky: People carry the body of a victim through debris in Kesennuma, Miyagi, northern Japan

Not so lucky: People carry the body of a victim through debris in Kesennuma, Miyagi, northern Japan

‘Will someone give us a new house to live in? ‘We have lost everything – who will replace it?’ But the biggest question of all was how many of those listed as missing might never return.

Some 15,000 people were rescued in the first two days after the tsunami – including an elderly woman found in a swept-away car and a man who had drifted out into the Pacific Ocean on  the wreckage of his roof – but as time has gone by the number of those found alive has dropped dramatically.

Rescuers say that the bitterly cold weather that has soared across Honshu Island, the main body of Japan, will greatly  lessen the chances of survival of people who might be lying trapped in water.


 

Explore more:

Places:
Japan
Tagged : 2014 World Cup, Egypt Army Overthrows President Mohamed Morsi

Headlines Newsview all

Bomb Goes Off At Kano Central Mosque Leaving Many Dead

A bomb explosion was reported to have gone of at Kano central mosque this afternoon as Muslim faithfuls were holding their Friday Jumat service. It ... Full story

Femi Kuti - WOMEN CAN BE WICKED: “I did a DNA test and was told two of the children are not mine"

According to a DNA test recently carried out by the father of 5 on his children, shows two of them, Dupe and Tosin are not ...

Olajuwon Ali Davis, US Based Nigerian Arrested For Plotting To Bomb Missouri Monument And Kill Ferguson Police Chief

St. Louis' Gateway Arch was allegedly a bombing target of Brandon Orlando Baldwin and Olajuwon Ali Davis, who were arrested on Friday The men are also ... Full story

Diezani Alison-Madueke Elected First OPEC Female President

The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has been elected the first female president of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Alison-Madueke was elected ...

Two female suicide bombers kill 67 people, injure 98 in Borno market

At least 67 people were feared dead and about 98 others seriously injured yesterday when two female suicide bombers hit a popular Monday market along ... Full story

Stella Damasus Talks About Secret Affair With Yoruba Actress Doris Simon's Husband, Daniel Ademinokan

For the first-time ever Nollywood actress Stella Damasus is opening up about aspects of her personal life that has dominated the media in the past ... Full story

Abuchi Ngwoke, 35 Year Old Nigerian Man Sentenced To Death for Drug Trafficking In Malaysian

Whenever they come home, they will be forming big boys for some of our girls who love money more than their lives but back in ... Full story

Pop Artiste Oritsefemi Accused Of Absconding After Collecting Money For Show In Czech

The brewing controversy surrounding the Europe tour of pop artiste, Orisefemi. is growing into uncontrollable proportions with the main actors throwing the punches of accusations ... Full story

Nigeria's National debt rises to N10.8tn

The total debt of the Federal Government,  the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory rose from N8.32tn on September 30, 2013 ... Full story

Senators Initiate Move To Impeach President Goodluck Jonathan

Some Peoples Democratic Party’s senators on Monday started impeachment moves against President Goodluck Jonathan over what they described as the high level of impunity and ... Full story

P-Square's Dad Dies After Knee Surgery

This is not the best of times for the Okoye family as they have reportedly lost their father. Pa Okoye is said to have passed away ... Full story

Comment on: Japan Earthuake and tsunami: Four days on, the survivors of the deadly tsunami

Rate this article

0

Featured author

Reinetta Zachary

Breaking News

Its so Awkward Acting Romantic Scenes With Juliet Ibrahim....- Bryan Okwara

Although pretty and sexy Ghanaian actress, Juliet Ibrahim and ex-Mr Nigeria, Bryan Okwara have denied being in a relationship as is being widely speculated, the ...

I Enjoy Making Love To Juliet Ibrahim But....- Bryan Okwara

Although pretty and sexy Ghanaian actress, Juliet Ibrahim and ex-Mr Nigeria, Bryan Okwara have denied being in a relationship as is being widely speculated, the ...

Ladies Go Get a Diploma……Ik Ogbonna’s Girlfriend Calls Out

Nollywood’s actor, Ik Ogbonna’s girlfriend, Sonia Lareinaa, has called on ladies to get a qualitative education in other to become the best they can be ...

Mr. Raw Now A Father After 5 Years Of Marriage

Mr. Raw Nwanne, formerly known as Nigga Raw, is now a proud father after 5 years of tying the nuptials. The indigenous language rapper, announced his ...

Keshi responsible for AFCON failure – Oliseh

Former Super Eagles captain, Sunday Oliseh, has said Stephen Keshi should shoulder the blame for Nigeria’s failure to qualify for next year’s African Cup of ...

Actress, Uche Jombo’s Thanksgiving Dinner (photo)

Nollywood actress, Uche Jombo Rodriguez, who is expecting her baby anytime soon, is not in any way ready to control her eating habit as she ...

Glamorous Night at the Nigeria Music Video Awards (NMVA) 2014 [Pictures]

Last night, entertainers and industry personalities convened at the Eko Hotel & Suites to witness the 2014 edition of the Nigeria Music Video Awards (NMVA). ...

Football Legend, Pele Faced with Urinary Problem

Hmm, according to abcnews.go.com, footballing legend Pele, 74, is being monitored in a special care unit of Brazilian hospital for urinary infection. The Albert Einstein hospital ...

Police Rescues Beauty Queen Daughter of Kwara State Governor’s Special Adviser

The advent of the social is actually meant to draw friends, families and corporate businesses together from a far distance using a small unit which ...

For The First time, Mc Galaxy 'Beats' Singer Kcee??

Good things don’t come easy as hard work they say pays better when diligently done and the reward for hard work is appreciation no matter ...