21 Mar 2011

Woman, teenager found nine days after quake

10:09 am on 21 March 2011

An elderly woman and a teenager have been found alive in their home nine days after Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami.

In a rare survival story, Sumi Abe, 80, and her grandson Jin Abe, 16, were found in the wreckage of what used to be their kitchen.

They were in their home in the city of Ishinomaki, in Miyagi prefecture, when the house collapsed in the earthquake and was hit by tsunami waves.

The teenager was able to reach food from the refrigerator, helping the pair survive for more than a week, Japanese media report.

Police say their temperatures were quite low but they were conscious. They have been taken to hospital.

The boy was said to be shivering and with no feeling in one leg.

There have been few such rescues, with more than 21,000 people confirmed as dead or listed as missing following the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and huge tsunami on Japan's northeast coast on 11 March.

On Saturday, troops announced they had found a man thought to have survived for eight days in a half-destroyed house, but it later turned out he was actually an evacuee who had returned to his home.