Japan earthquake

Miracle Rescue: Woman in her 80s Found Alive as 72-Hour Window Closes After Japan Earthquake

In a miraculous turn of events, a woman in her 80s was rescued from the rubble of her collapsed house in Japan, 72 hours after a powerful earthquake struck on New Year’s Day. The critical three-day window for finding survivors had closed, but rescue teams in the town of Wajima defied the odds to save the elderly woman.

Public broadcaster NHK shared footage of the dramatic rescue, showing the woman being carefully lifted from the debris of her home. The earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.6, wreaked havoc on the remote Noto peninsula, claiming at least 82 lives.

Rescuers had been racing against time to locate survivors, primarily in the towns of Suzu and Wajima, where many people were trapped under collapsed homes. The woman in her 80s had been stuck on the ground floor of her house since the earthquake struck.

The closure of the critical 72-hour window typically diminishes the chances of finding survivors alive, making this rescue a remarkable feat. Tens of thousands of residents remain without power and water, and hundreds are isolated due to landslides and blocked roads.

Japan’s Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, emphasized the challenging situation but urged rescuers to continue their full-scale efforts. He acknowledged the difficulty of the task and implored them to save as many lives as possible.

Despite the challenges, the rescue efforts have been ongoing, with 150 people already saved. The earthquake and subsequent aftershocks injured at least 330 individuals. Over 30,000 people in the affected areas are still in shelters, facing shortages of essential resources.

Before and after

Dramatic stories of rescues have emerged, including a video posted by Peace Winds Japan, showcasing rescuers navigating through collapsed furniture to save a woman trapped under her home. The spirit of resilience is evident as communities unite to overcome the aftermath of the disaster.

The devastation is widespread, particularly in Wajima, where traditional wooden homes have crumbled under the force of the earthquake. Japan’s regulations introduced in 1981 to protect buildings from earthquakes might not have covered many of these older structures.

With the town resembling a ghost town, it recorded the highest death toll, with 48 confirmed deaths, expected to rise as some areas remain inaccessible. Mayor Shigeru Sakaguchi expressed challenges in reaching evacuees with aid supplies, highlighting the urgency of support.

Japan, known for its seismic activity, faces the aftermath of one of the most powerful earthquakes in recent years. The region around Noto has experienced increased seismic activity since the end of 2020, with over 500 small and medium earthquakes reported over the past three years.

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