The Modern Tokyo Times

International news and neglected issues

Two survive earthquake and tsunami after 9 days in Ishinomaki


Two survive earthquake and tsunami after 9 days in Ishinomaki

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Earthquake and tsunami 
Earthquake and tsunami

The police in Miyagi prefecture have issued heartbreaking news day in and day out since the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit parts of Japan.  This applies to thousands of people being killed and announcing this news to family members or friends who have survived.  Therefore, when two survivors were found after nine days it was “a ray of sunshine” amidst so much pain, anguish, and sorrow.

Amazingly an 80 year old grandmother and her 16 year old grandson have survived the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami after nine days in harsh and brutal conditions in Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture. 

The four police officers who rescued Sumi Abe and her grandson Jin Abe were amazed and Jin Abe was only concerned about his grandmother.  He told the rescuers “save my grandma” and this devoted grandson, despite all the hardship that he had suffered, was only thinking about the wellbeing of his grandmother.

A police sergeant who was amongst the four rescuers was also flabbergasted that people could survive such a grueling ordeal.  Yoichi Seino from Ishinomaki police station stated “I’m astonished that there were people who stayed alive” and “I’m so happy (to hear that).”

Clearly the police officers involved were overwhelmed because after so many dead bodies being uncovered in Ishinomaki it was a much needed pick up and it shows you how dedicated the search and rescue teams are.  After all, the psychological impact of witnessing such harrowing scenes will leave a deep impact.

Therefore, this one glimmer of pure joy will mean so much to everyone involved in looking for any possible survivors in Ishinomaki and in other cities and towns which have been pulverized by the devastating earthquake and tsunami.

Sumi Abe and Jin Abe were found shivering and apparently they had survived on small leftovers.  The bitter cold and mass uncertainly must have made the nine days seem like years but somehow they got by on yogurt, coke, and a few other things.  Therefore, their survival instincts and strong bond gave them a collective desire to pull together and somehow hold out for nine days.

Sumi broke down with masses of tears when the police officers found them and Jin could only think about his grandmother.  When a police officer asked Jin what he would like to be when he is older he replied “An artist.” 

It was clear that Jin was in a bad condition when he was found but Dr. Michio Kobayashi stated that both were in “good health and eating breakfast well.”  Therefore, both Sumi and Jin have responded well to the care of the Japanese Red Cross Ishinomaki Hospital and Dr. Michio Kobayashi and fellow staff will also feel warm inside because they have witnessed so much suffering.

Yukio Edano, Chief Cabinet Secretary, commented that “I believe this kind of miraculous event is inspiring news to all the victims who are going through difficult situations as evacuees.”

Therefore, this one “ray of sunshine” in a “torrent of despair” will have warmed the hearts of so many.  Also, amidst all the devastation of Ishinomaki you have a 16 year old boy called Jin Abe who survived and he still dreams of being an artist and showing the world the beauty of this world despite the events that he just witnessed.

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