Miracles in Japan: Four-Month-Old Baby, 70-Year-Old Woman Found Alive
A Japanese officer smiles as he holds a 4-month-old baby girl who was rescued in Ishinomaki, in Miyagi prefecture, on March 14, 2011
On March 14, soldiers from Japan's Self-Defense Forces went door to door in Ishinomaki, a coastal town northeast of Senda, pulling bodies from homes that had been flattened by the earthquake and tsunami. More accustomed to hearing the crunching of rubble and the sloshing of mud than sounds of life, they dismissed the baby's cry as a mistake. Until they heard it again.Amid the silent corpses a baby cried out—and Japan met its tiniest miracle.
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They made their way to a pile of debris and carefully removed fragments of wood and slate, shattered glass and rock. And then they saw her: a 4-month-old baby girl in a pink woolen bear suit.
A tidal wave literally swept the baby from her parents' arms when it hit their home on March 11. Afterward, her parents — both of whom survived the disaster — took refuge in their wrecked house, worried that their little girl was dead. Soldiers managed to reunite the baby with her overjoyed father shortly after the rescue.
"Her discovery has put a new energy into the search," a civil defense official told a local news crew. "We will listen, look and dig with even more diligence after this." Ahead of the baby's rescue, officials reported finding at least 2,000 bodies washed up on the shoreline of Miyagi prefecture. How the child survived drowning — or being crushed by fallen trees and houses — remains a mystery.