March 21, 2011 in Nation/World

Nine days later, pair found alive in rubble

David Pierson Los Angeles Times
Associated Press photo

Sumi Abe, 80, reacts after she was rescued on Sunday.
(Full-size photo)

BEIJING – An 80-year-old woman and her 16-year-old grandson were rescued Sunday after being buried under rubble for nine days after the worst recorded earthquake in Japanese history and a massive tsunami toppled their home.

The two were trapped in their kitchen after the magnitude 9.0 temblor struck March 11 and survived by wrapping themselves in towels and eating yogurt and drinking, water, milk and Coke, Japanese news reports said.

Sumi Abe had been unable to free herself after her legs were wedged under the refrigerator. Eventually, her grandson, Jin Abe, dug his way out of the debris onto the roof of the home, where he was able to alert rescuers.

Sumi Abe was able to say her name and to tell rescuers that she was unhurt. Jin Abe suffered hypothermia and told doctors he had almost no feeling in his left leg.

The two were found in Ishinomaki in Miyagi prefecture, a city ravaged by last week’s tsunami.

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