As the hope of finding survivors dries up, a miracle – two, in fact – emerges from the rubble.
An 80-year-old woman and her 16-year-old grandson are rescued after being trapped under the remains of their home for more than a week. They were – quite fortunately, as it turns out – in their kitchen when the earthquake and tsunami struck, collapsing the house on top of them. Crushed beneath the remains of their home, they survived on leftovers from the fridge until rescuers arrived.
(More on TIME.com: See photos of the destruction and devastation in Japan)
Sumi Abe, the 80-year-old grandmother, and Jin Abe, 16, survived for nine days on yogurt and other food scraps from their refrigerator. Sumi was trapped underneath furniture and was unable to move, but Jin managed to dig a hole through the debris and escape, alerting rescuers to their presence.
Their house once stood in Ishinomaki, about 30 miles northeast of the city of Sendai. Neither grandmother and grandson were badly injured, though both showed signs of hypothermia. This miraculous survival story brings hope to a wrecked nation, as rescuers continue to crawl through rubble in the hardest hit areas in northeast Japan.
(More on TIME.com: See last week’s miracle rescue of a four-month-old baby)
Police say 8,450 people are confirmed dead and 12,931 are still missing. Survivors are scarce in Japan as those trapped by the quake battle freezing temperatures, lack of food, injury, and unfathomable psychological hardships. But the resilience of the Japanese people is simply stunning.