Japan Tsunami: 2,000 Bodies Found

In Asia, Earthquakes & Tsunamis, News Headlines

Some 2,000 bodies have been found on two shores in Miyagi Prefecture following Friday’s devastating earthquake and massive tsunami, as Japan struggles to grasp the whole picture of the disaster.

Today’s findings will significantly increase the death toll from the magnitude 8.9-magnitude quake and ensuing tsunami.

Police have so far confirmed 1,597 deaths and 1,481 people missing across the affected areas in north-eastern and eastern Japan.

About 1,000 bodies were found coming ashore on hardest-hit Miyagi’s Ojika Peninsula.

Another 1,000 have been spotted in the town of Minamisanriku, where the prefectural government has been unable to contact about 10,000 people, or over half the local population.

Information has been received that many town residents have evacuated to neighbouring Tome city, officials said, adding they are trying to confirm the report.

The official death toll excludes about 200 to 300 bodies in Sendai, the capital of Miyagi, that have yet to be recovered by police due to the difficulty of reaching them amid the devastation and rubble.

The whereabouts of about 2,500 tourists who were visiting the quake-hit areas have not been confirmed, the Japan Tourism Agency said.

The Miyagi prefectural government has decided to ask for help from other prefectures as work to cremate bodies is falling behind, it said.

About 450,000 people had evacuated by Sunday in Miyagi and five other prefectures, but water, food and fuel are in short supply in various locations where they have taken refuge.

The government is airlifting supplies with Self-Defence Force helicopters.

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