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Japan's dead or missing surpasses 24,000
Wednesday, March 23, 2011 » 07:32pm
The number of people confirmed dead or listed as missing in Japan surpassed 24,000 on Wednesday, 12 days after a massive earthquake and tsunami struck the country's northeast coast.
There are fears of a much higher toll from the disaster, which flattened entire towns along the Pacific coast of northern Honshu island.
The National Police Agency said 9408 people had been confirmed dead and 14,716 officially listed as missing - a total of 24,124 - as of noon (1400 AEDT) on Wednesday as a result of the March 11 catastrophe.
A total of 2746 people have been injured.
Meanwhile, workers were evacuated from part of a stricken nuclear power station in Japan on Wednesday after dark smoke was seen rising from one of the reactors, the plant operator said.
Full Story - Bigpond News AU
Snow pours misery on disaster-ravaged Japan
Heavy snowfall in Japan's quake and tsunami zone is hampering the efforts of authorities picking through the debris.
In towns, cities and villages along Japan's north-east coast, hundreds of bodies are being pulled from the rubble each day.
While the official toll of dead and missing is about 11,000, it will rise in the coming days as the search for survivors and bodies continues after Friday's earthquake and tsunami.
The Department of Foreign Affairs says 55 Australians are unaccounted for in the disaster zone.
Blizzard-like conditions in the region means getting around on roads is difficult.
Fuel has mostly run out for residents, but even if they had it and wanted to leave, many roads are cut because of the snow.
The government has warned that panic buying in towns and cities not directly affected by the twin disasters could hurt its ability to provide aid to the devastated areas.
Full Story - ABC News
Tsunami victims put in mass grave
March 24, 2011 1:48AM
RELATIVES wept and soldiers saluted as dozens of tsunami victims in simple wooden coffins were buried in a mass grave in a city in northeast Japan overwhelmed by death.
With makeshift morgues close to overflowing and crematoriums unable to keep pace with the numbers of bodies, the Japanese authorities have taken the drastic step of using mass burial sites as temporary resting places.
The burials in Higashimatsushima began on Tuesday and 60 bodies have now been interred in a series of 50 metre-long trenches dug at the site of a former recycling centre on the outskirts of the town, including 36 yesterday.
Japanese usually cremate their dead, but the normal system has been unable to cope with the impact of the March 11 tsunami. The confirmed death toll stands at more than 9400 with nearly 15,000 more missing.
"At the local crematorium, we can only cremate six bodies a day, and that just isn't enough for the situation we have here," said municipal official Hatsuhiro Kono.
Kono said 400 more bodies were awaiting burial and with corpses being recovered from the devastated area on a daily basis the local government is preparing for a final count of up to 1000 at the mass grave.
Full Story - News.com.au