12 Mar '11, 6am

Death toll exceeds 600 in Japan disaster

TOKYO: At least 703 people have been confirmed killed in the massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami disasters that hit Japan on Friday, as the government voiced fears that the death toll might exceed 1,000. Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan's right-hand man and top spokesman, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano, earlier said: "it is believed that more than 1,000 people have lost their lives". Amid a mass rescue effort there were grim updates indicating appalling loss of life along the hard-hit east coast of northern Honshu island, where the monster waves destroyed more than 3,000 homes. On Saturday afternoon, about 24 hours after the catastrophe, the National Police Agency said 503 people had been confirmed dead and 740 missing, with 1,040 injured in the disaster. Police in Sendai, Miyagi prefecture, separately said Friday that at least 200 and up to 300 bodies had b...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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