Miracle Survival: Woman in her 90s Rescued 124 Hours After Major Quake in Japan

WAJIMA, Japan — A miraculous rescue unfolded in western Japan on Saturday, when a woman in her 90s was pulled alive from a collapsed house, more than five days after a devastating earthquake struck the region. The massive 7.6 magnitude quake, which hit on Monday, has so far claimed the lives of at least 126 people and caused widespread destruction, including toppling buildings and triggering landslides.

The elderly woman, who was found in Suzu city, Ishikawa Prefecture, defied the odds by managing to survive for over 124 hours buried beneath the rubble. Rescue workers, clad in helmets, shielded the area from view with blue plastic. Dramatic footage of the rescue was aired nationwide, but the woman herself remained out of sight.

Typically, the chances of survival decrease significantly after the first 72 hours, making this rescue all the more remarkable. In the days following the earthquake, rescue teams comprised of soldiers, firefighters, and others tirelessly worked to save lives.

Among the victims of the disaster was a 5-year-old boy who had been recovering from injuries sustained during the earthquake. Unfortunately, his condition unexpectedly worsened, and he passed away on Friday. Ishikawa prefecture, the hardest-hit area, confirmed his death.

The aftermath of the earthquake was compounded by the threat of additional tremors and their potential to bury more homes and block important relief routes. Authorities issued warnings about the fragile state of cracked roads, which were at risk of complete collapse. Moreover, with rain and snow in the forecast, the situation was becoming even more precarious.

Wajima city has recorded the highest number of fatalities, with 69 deaths, followed by Suzu with 38. Over 500 people were injured, with at least 27 in serious condition. The earthquake left behind a trail of destruction, leaving roofs strewn on roads and buildings reduced to rubble. A fire engulfed a neighborhood in Wajima, reducing it to ashes.

Although efforts are ongoing, more than 200 individuals remain unaccounted for. Among them are eleven people trapped under two collapsed homes in Anamizu.

Japan, with its rapidly aging population, faces numerous challenges in the aftermath of the quake. The Ishikawa region, along with surrounding areas, has experienced a decline in population over the years. The local economy, heavily reliant on crafts and tourism, is now facing even greater uncertainty.

In a surprising gesture, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reached out to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, sending a message of condolence. This unexpected expression of sympathy was rare, as the last time North Korea offered condolences to Japan was in 1995.

While power is being gradually restored along the coastline, water supplies remain critically low. Emergency water systems have been damaged as well. To alleviate the situation, thousands of troops are delivering water, food, and medicine to the over 30,000 people who have sought refuge in auditoriums, schools, and other facilities.

Aerial assessments conducted by the Yomiuri newspaper have identified over 100 landslides in the affected area, some of which are obstructing vital roads. As a result, certain communities remain isolated and continue to await assistance.

The survivors are facing immense difficulties, particularly in terms of accessing basic necessities. Seizo Shinbo, a seafood trader, voiced the challenges his community is experiencing, with long lines forming for limited supplies of food and water.

With the elderly population growing and the area grappling with various hardships, recovery efforts will undoubtedly be arduous. However, the resilience and determination of the people of western Japan may yet prevail.

In summary, a woman in her 90s was remarkably rescued from a collapsed house in Suzu city, Ishikawa Prefecture, more than five days after a powerful earthquake struck western Japan. This devastating quake resulted in the loss of at least 126 lives, caused buildings to crumble, and triggered landslides. Despite the grim odds, the elderly woman managed to survive over 124 hours beneath the wreckage. As the nation grapples with the aftermath of this catastrophe, efforts are underway to locate and aid the hundreds of missing individuals and provide essential resources to those affected.