- Two survivors, an elderly woman and her teenage grandson, found in northern Japan. They sheltered in the kitchen during the tsunami, and thus were able to find some food to keep them going until the boy was able to signal to rescuers.
Amid widespread jubilation, the national broadcaster NHK ran images of a helicopter winching the survivors out of danger in a yellow harness. They are both now receiving medical treatment in the Ishinomaki Red Cross hospital.
“I always believed he was alive,” Jin’s father told reporters.
The astonishing rescue has given a much-needed boost to emergency workers amid a grim and growing death toll from Japan’s deadliest disaster since the second world war.
The casualty list stands at 8,277 dead and 12,722 missing and the figures are rising daily.
- The hundreds of volunteer reactor emergency workers – technicians, engineers and scientists – known as the ‘Fukushima 50’ because they work in 50-strong shifts to minimise radiation exposure, have succeeded in getting power to some of the reactors to stabilise the overheated fuel rods and stave off a potential meltdown. They hope to restore full power and thus normal cooling controls shortly; cautious optimism regarding resolution of the nuclear crisis is growing.
[A]fter nine days without heat, electricity, running water, regular meals or word from their loved ones, there are signs that the extraordinary fortitude of the survivors is being worn down by a widening humanitarian crisis.
Officials in Ishinomaki in Miyagi prefecture, one of the coastal cities wrecked by the tsunami, say the shortages and a painfully slow return of services has led to rising anger at the government and sporadic reports of theft and violent crime.
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