Res­cuers find two alive in rub­ble

Townsville Bulletin - - News -

TWO sur­vivors, in­clud­ing an el­derly woman, have been res­cued from the wreck­age of a home in Ja­pan’s north­east, nine days af­ter a mas­sive earth­quake and tsunami, authorities say.

‘‘ An 80-year-old woman and a 16-year-old boy were found un­der de­bris,’’ said a po­lice spokesman in the dev­as­tated city of Ishi­no­maki in Miyagi pre­fec­ture.

‘‘ Their tem­per­a­tures were quite low but they were con­scious.’’

Sumi Abe and her grand­son Jin Abe were in the kitchen when the quake struck on March 11, pub­lic broad­caster NHK re­ported.

The house col­lapsed with them in­side but the grand­son was able to reach food from the re­frig­er­a­tor, help­ing them to sur­vive.

The boy was said to be shiv­er­ing and had no feel­ing in one leg.

There have been few such mir­a­cle res­cues, with al­most 21,000 peo­ple con­firmed as dead or listed as miss­ing fol­low­ing the 9.0-mag­ni­tude earth­quake and gi­ant tsunami which flat­tened Ja­pan’s north­east coast on March 11.

Freez­ing tem­per­a­tures and snow have ham­pered res­cue op­er­a­tions.

Miyagi pre­fec­ture was worst hit by the quake and tsunami, with a con­firmed death toll of 4882.

Mean­while, Ja­pan’s tsunami­rav­aged nu­clear plant must even­tu­ally be scrapped, the coun­try’s top gov­ern­ment spokesman said as he re­vealed ‘‘ ab­nor­mal lev­els’’ of ra­di­a­tion had again been de­tected in milk and spinach taken from ar­eas near the plant.

Chief Cabi­net Sec­re­tary Yukio Edano’s com­ment yes­ter­day was the first word from the gov­ern­ment that the Fukushima Dai-ichi nu­clear com­plex would have to be closed once its over­heat­ing re­ac­tors were brought un­der con­trol.

Clos­ing the plant is in­evitable, as the sea­wa­ter cool­ing the re­ac­tors is cor­ro­sive, ren­der­ing crit­i­cal parts of the com­plex un­us­able.

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