In one of the few happy stories to come from the earthquake tragedy in Japan, an 80-year-old woman and her 16-year-old grandson have been rescued from the rubble of their home in the coastal city of Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture, the epicenter of the tragedy, according to Kyodo news agency.
The pair was trapped in their demolished house for nine days, local police officials said.
Sumi Abe and her grandson Jin, were taken to Ishinomaki Red Cross Hospital – but miraculously they suffered no injuries, although the boy reportedly has hypothermia.
During a search for survivors, police found Jin on the roof if his house yelling for help. His grandmother was inside the house, with her legs stuck under a refrigerator.
Initially they were stranded in the kitchen, but Jin was able to dig himself out and climb to the roof to alert rescue teams.
The Abes said they survived by wrapping themselves in towels, eating yogurt and drinking water and Coca-Cola stored in the refrigerator.
The Abes were indeed lucky to have survived so long. Japanese police officials believe that as many as 15,000 people in Miyagi alone may have died in the earthquake-tsunami disaster.
Jin Abe’s father Akira Abe said at a news conference he never gave up hope for his son and elderly mother.
Don't give up. Never give up, Akira said, offering encouragement to those whose family members remain missing.