The Afternnoon of March 11th Hideaki Akaiwa was at his job finishing the minutes of his work week in his office outside the port city of Ishinomaki in
Japan's Miyagi Prefecture when the fateful earthquake struck.
That earthquake would change his life in an instant, and yet worse was to come.
The Tsunami that followed flooded his world with more than 10 feet of water, as he watched his once home city engulfed in the waves of water.
Hideaki's wife of twenty years was still buried inside the lake somewhere. She hadn't gotten out. She wasn't answering her phone. The water was
still rising, the sun was setting, cars and # were swooshing past on a river of sea water, and and rescue workers told him there was nothing that
could be done – the only thing left was to sit back, wait for the military to arrive, and hope that they can get in there and rescue the survivors
before it's too late. With 10,000 citizens of Ishinomaki still missing and unaccounted for, the odds weren't great that Hideaki would ever see his
However, Hideaki Akaiwa not being a regular guy....
He's an. [snip] insane bad***, and he wasn't going to sit back and just let his wife die alone, freezing to death in a miserable water-filled
tomb. He was going after her. No matter what.badassoftheweek.com...
"The water felt very cold, dark and scary," he recalls. "I had to swim about 200 yards (180m) to her, which was quite difficult with all the
How Hideaki found a wet suit, managed the rescue dive...its all history now. He did it!
Hideaki maintained his composure and navigated his way through the submerged city, finally tracking down his old house. He quickly swam through to
find his totally-freaked-out wife, alone and stranded on the upper level of their house, barely keeping her head above water. He grabbed her tight,
and presumably sharing his rebreather with her, dragged her out of the wreckage to safety. She survived. badassoftheweek.com...
And then, he went back for his Mom. Yes, thats right. She had been stranded for four days...on the upper level of a house...and he brought her to
Not content to let that be the end...Hideaki went to work again and today he still rides multiple times a day, riding around on a bicycle with his
legs wrapped in plastic to keep himself dry...with his pocketknife, a canteen, a flashlight, a change of clothes, and a badass set of aviator
sunglasses – packed into a trusty trio of backpacks.
Hospital near the reactor with 180 patients.... of the 200 doctors on staff all deserted for fear of radiation... all except 17 who stayed and tried
to look after the patients. Having no elevator they had to use the stairs...
The 17 finally called for the police to move the patients to other hospitals
Originally posted by Shirak
Do you have a source or story for the panda?
Hmmm no... it was in a set of photos from one of the news networks... but after you mentioned it, I went looking... Seems the Panda story and picture
was from the Chinese quake...
Four of the center's staff died in the quake while others risked their lives to rescue panda cubs. "They were very scared and disturbed when the
earthquake happened. They needed support from their keepers before they would eat again," one keeper said. "We talk to the pandas and play with
them—that helps give them psychological support."
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