Keiko Yoshida and Isao Takano were only finally beginning to feel settled after being driven from their homes by the nuclear disaster in Fukushima Prefecture last year.
And then, a tornado, a very rare occurrence in Japan, hit May 6, uprooting their lives once again.
"I weathered the radiation crisis, and now a tornado," said Takano, 58. "I never imagined that I would be forced out of my home a second time."
The tornado wreaked havoc in Ibaraki and Tochigi prefectures close to Tokyo, damaging 2,026 homes and buildings, leaving one person dead and dozens injured.
Yoshida, a 57-year-old evacuee from Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, started life afresh in special housing in the Hojo district of Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture.
In Tsukuba alone, 37 people were injured.
Yoshida said she hid in a closet in a back room, using her hands to keep the paper sliding doors firmly shut, as soon as she saw the menacing twister approach, spitting out debris as it advanced.
The next thing she heard was her glass windows shattering and objects flying around.
When Yoshida finally emerged from her hiding place, there was no place to stand.
"I was so shocked that no words or tears came out," she said.
Yoshida has lived alone since her husband died five years ago.
After the reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011, Yoshida moved temporarily with her son to Tsukuba, and later with a relative in Mito, the capital of Ibaraki Prefecture, before settling in her current abode the following month.
She had only just felt her life was returning to normal, having finally bought all the furniture she needed to make things homely.
But Yoshida does not decry her fate.
"I had to leave home with a single bag when the nuclear accident hit, but luckily, I will be able to take my things with me this time around," she said. "You can't get through life unless you think like that."
Yoshida now faces the daunting challenge of finding yet another place to live.
"I wish I could find somewhere in Tsukuba, where my son lives and where I am not a total stranger."
Takano, an evacuee from Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, lives in the same apartment building as Yoshida. The tornado also blew out the glass window panes of his apartment.
Takano moved to Tsukuba, where his daughter lives, in April 2011.
Looking back over the past couple of days, Takano said: "I am left speechless. Please have mercy on me."
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