OTSUCHI, Iwate Prefecture--Stranded and suffering in her broken house for about four days after the tsunami struck, a 75-year-old woman in Iwate Prefecture was rescued Tuesday.
A team of firefighters dispatched from Tondabayashi, Osaka Prefecture, rescued homemaker Sai Abe from her flooded home in Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture.
Officials at a hospital where Abe was being treated said the woman appeared to be suffering from hypothermia but was in stable condition.
Abe, her 54-year-old son and her 76-year-old husband were on the first floor March 11 when the tsunami struck following the magnitude-9.0 earthquake, the son said.
As the water gushed through the front door, the son tried to carry Abe, who has difficulty walking, up the stairs to the safety of the second floor.
But the floodwaters quickly rose to the ceiling, separating the two. When the son swam back to the stairs, he found that Abe had been pushed up to the second floor by the waves.
The son then went to search for his father, who was swept away. But fires that broke out nearby prevented him from returning to the house.
On March 14, he was able to find Abe in the house.
"I knew that if the flames did not reach her, she would survive. I'm very happy that she was all right," the son said.
He said he will continue searching for his father.
(This article was compiled from reports by Daisuke Igarashi and Tatsuro Sakata.)
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