Japan earthquake and tsunami: narrow escapes

Some 30,000 people have been rescued as search operations continue following Japan's 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami on March 11. Amazing stories of survival and hope are still emerging. Here are just a few examples:

By , Staff Writer

2. A teenager runs up a hill with her grandmother to safety

The tsunami wave looked small enough for the concrete tsunami walls some 20-feet-high along the harbor – to stop it, a teenager named Minami Sato told the AP from beside her now-ruined home in Japan.

As the tsunami slammed onto the land, Sato watched from her hilltop home in the distance as the surging water engulfed the walls and crashed over the top of four-story-high buildings.

Sato grabbed her grandmother and started running up a pathway behind her home to the tsunami refuge where she saw a number of people leaving it for even higher ground up the hill. "Run!" she heard someone scream. "The water is coming! It's getting higher!" shouted another.

Sato ran up the hill past a Shinto shrine, past a cemetery and kept going, finally stopping by a cell phone tower, out of breath, she told the AP.

The tsunami wave swept over the refuge the group had left below them, picking up and tossing around 16 cars that had been parked there.

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