05 Apr '11, 4am

Japanese firefighter warned villagers of imminent tsunami at the cost of his own life

OTSUCHI (Japan) - WHEN Fujio Koshita rang the bell at Otsuchi fire station to warn the fishing village of the imminent tsunami he undoubtedly saved countless lives - but the bell also tolled for him. Residents of Otsuchi, in north-eastern Japan near the quake epicentre, vividly recall the eerie sound and salute the fireman for his sacrifice, an action they see as in keeping with age-old Japanese notions of duty and honour. Mr Koshita, 57, one of 28 members of the Second Otsuchi Fire Unit, rushed to his seaside station in the afternoon of March 11 after he felt the first massive jolt of the earthquake. There, he found an electrical blackout had put the station's siren system out of action. Amid the frantic melee in the minutes after the magnitude-9.0 tremor struck, Mr Toru Suzuki, a 41-year-old fellow firefighter, also reached the station, but the older man waved him off. '...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Asia/Story/STISt...

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