Japan rescuers pull 70-year-old woman from debris

AP News
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Posted: Mar 15, 2011 12:09 PM
Japan rescuers pull 70-year-old woman from debris

Rescuers pulled a 70-year-old woman from her toppled home Tuesday, four days after an earthquake-spurred tsunami tossed the house off its foundation in Japan's northeast.

The rescues of the elderly Sai Abe and a younger man pulled from rubble elsewhere in the region were rare good news following Friday's disaster that killed at least 2,700 people and left thousands missing.

Abe's son said he had tried to save his mother but could not get her to flee her home in the port town of Otsuchi. His relief at her rescue, he said, was tempered by the fact that his father is still missing.

"I couldn't lift her up, and she couldn't escape because her legs are bad," Hiromi Abe said on national television. "My feelings are complicated, because I haven't found my father."

The elderly woman was suffering from hypothermia and was sent to a hospital, but appeared to have no life-threatening injuries, said Yuko Kotani, a spokesman for Osaka fire department.

Another survivor, described as being in his 20s, was shown on television being pulled from a building further down the coast in the city of Ishimaki after rescue workers heard him calling for help.

Conditions for those still alive in the rubble worsened as a cold front arrived Tuesday, further pushing down temperatures. Snow is forecast over the next few days.

(This version CORRECTS that woman was rescued four days after the tsunami, not five.)