Despite growing fears about Japan's nuclear situation, dramatic video showing the rescue of an 80-year-old woman and her grandson is giving hope to people around the world.
Video released Sunday by Grassroots news TV shows an older woman wrapped in blankets being airlifted above the rubble by helicopter.
In the nine days since the devastating March 11 earthquake, the woman, Sumi Abe, and her grandson, Jin Abe, 16, were unable to pull themselves out of their earthquake-ravaged home and lived off of yogurt stored in their refrigerator, according to reports. The grandson was finally able to flag down rescue workers from the rooftop of their house.
According to The Associated Press, after the pair was taken to the hospital today, Jin's father Akira Abe, told reporters, "I always believed they were alive."
The Associated Press reported Friday that a young man in a different city had been rescued in a home eight days after the earthquake, but that later news reports said he returned after the quake and had only been trapped for one day.
Still, today's story about the woman and her grandson is giving the Japanese people a much-needed dose of hope in an otherwise dire situation.
Japanese officials said today that pressure in reactor 3 at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant was rising so sharply that they may consider releasing radioactive steam to relieve the pressure, even though that would cause further contamination.
That setback came just after reports that radiation was detected in some Tokyo water, fava beans exported to Taiwan, spinach and milk. Officials downplayed the risk of the radiation, however, saying that someone would need to drink the water for a year to become exposed to radiation equal to that of a CAT scan.
But the toll is greatest for the firefighters who were first called into contend with the nuclear reactor.
When asked by reporters about the toughest part of the job, a team leader of the division that has been working at the reactor broke down.
"My firefighters have [a] very high level of motivation and they worked very hard. And they've left behind famiiles," said Toyohiko Tomioka with the Tokyo Fire Department's Fire Rescue Task Force. "I feel extremely sorry for the families that are left behind. I would like to offer my apologies and appreciation to them."
The firefighters rallied to conduct the rescues said they left in such a rush that they had to inform their families by text. One of the firefighters said his wife wrote back, "I hope that you're the savior of Japan."
Officials also said today that the whole Fukushima plant would be scrapped after this nuclear situation has been addressed.
The death toll has now surpassed 8,000 and nearly 13,000 are considered missing, the government said.