Incredible survival stories from Japan

A Japan Self-Defense Forces officer smiles as he holds a four-month-old baby girl who was rescued along with her family members from their home in Ishimaki City, Miyagi Prefecture in northern Japan, after an earthquake and tsunami struck the area, March 14, 2011.A grandmother, two dogs, a four-month-old baby – every day, there are survivors surfacing in Japan as the country continues to assess the damage of a massive earthquake and tsunami.

Names are put to the faces of the missing as people come forward in the media with amazing tales of rescue and endurance.

Some stories are of sacrifice.

In one case, an 80-year-old grandmother’s life was saved, although her rescuer’s was not.

At home when the earthquake first hit, the woman’s 25-year-old granddaughter helped her up a set of stairs before returning to the main floor for her baby girl, just two months old.

That is the moment massive tsunami waves exploded through the windows into the home, sweeping away the mother and child.

Meanwhile, in the village of Ishinomaki, a child was rescued after being swept out of the arms of her parents on tidal waves, according to the Daily Mail.

The four-month-old girl was missing for three days after the village was destroyed by the powerful waters.

Rescue crews heard the sound of her crying underneath rubble, with reports saying they at first dismissed it as their imaginations.

After they heard it again, they found the ‘tiny miracle’ buried under wood and thick mud.

In a similar story, a man spent 96 hours trapped underneath piles of debris northeast of Tokyo before being pulled to safety by rescue crews.

A video shows him awake and blinking as he is pulled from the destruction on a stretcher.

Crew members on a ship in Miyagi also waited to be rescued after tsunami tidal waves ripped it from a shipyard and pulled it out to sea, according to reports.

The boat and the 81 people on-board clashed against huge waves until it was later found and the crew was airlifted to safety.

Elsewhere in Miyagi, two dogs were among the few survivors after a village was destroyed by the tsunami.


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