The international community has shifted its attention to Japan in the wake of last week's historic earthquake and tsunami. As of March 14, media reports revealed that the death toll was expected to exceed 10,000 people.
Amidst all of the news of tragedy and devastation, one notable tale of survival surfaced over the weekend. According to CBS News, a 60-year-old man named Hiromitsu Shinkawa was rescued about 10 miles off the northeastern coast of Minamisoma after he clung to a piece of wreckage from the roof of his house.
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), residents who live near a coast should be prepared for a tsunami after an underwater earthquake. They should move to higher ground, such as a hilltop, before the first wave arrives. The agency says that people must abandon their possessions because any time spent trying to collect one's belongings could make the difference between life or death.
For example, Shinkawa and his wife were swept out to sea when they returned to their home in order to retrieve some of their possessions. Although Shinkawa survived, he believes that his wife was killed.
If people are trapped in their homes and unable to reach higher ground, the USGS suggests that they should go to the highest floor in their home or onto the roof. In the event that the tsunami destroys the residence, the agency urges victims to find something sturdy to climb onto that can stay afloat.