Japan tsunami toll likely to rise over 1,600

March 12th, 2011 - 7:02 pm ICT by ANI  

Tokyo, Mar 12 (ANI): The death toll from the devastating earthquake-cum-tsunami in Japan is likely to be over 1,600.

According to a police tally, the death toll has reached 564 so far, while 200 to 300 bodies were transferred to Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture.

It was also reported that another 200 bodies were transferred to gymnasiums in Iwanuma and Natori, both in Miyagi, while around 600 people are missing after the 8.8 magnitude earthquake rocked the country on Friday, the Kyodo news agency reports.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano has expressed the government’s determination to bring relief to the disaster-hit areas. He told a meeting of the emergency disaster headquarters that: ‘This is the largest earthquake since the Meiji Era, and it is believed that over 1,000 people have lost their lives.’

Meanwhile, an explosion at a nuclear reactor building of Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant has reportedly injured four workers.

Following the Fukushima nuclear plant explosion, Edano said the government has instructed residents living within a 10-kilometer radius of the No. 1 and No. 2 nuclear plants to evacuate.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan had said earlier today that small amounts of radiation have been released from one of the reactors after visiting a quake-stricken nuclear power plant in the country’s Fukushima Prefecture.

After taking an overall view from the helicopter during his visit to other areas in northeastern parts of the country, Kan had said: “I realized the huge extent of the tsunami damage.”

At least 15 aftershocks, from 5-6.8 magnitude, hit off Japan’s east coast on Saturday following a massive 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck Japan Friday afternoon. (ANI)

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