Japan earthquake: death toll over 10,000

March 25th, 2011 - 8:16 pm ICT by BNO News  

TOKYO (BNO NEWS) — The death toll in Japan has reached over 10,000, two weeks after the devastating earthquake and ensuing tsunami struck the country, officials said Friday.

Japan’s National Police Agency said that as of Friday, 6 p.m. local time, 27,500 people remain unaccounted for or dead, with 10,066 confirmed deaths and 17,452 missing. In addition, more than 240,000 people remain in some 2,000 shelters throughout the country.

Officials believe that more bodies will be recovered from the sea, while the death toll is also expected to rise since search and rescue efforts in the Fukushima prefecture have been hampered by the nuclear crisis, Kyodo news agency reported.

Furthermore, constant aftershocks have continued to shake up the country, as the Japan Meteorological Agency said there is a 20 percent possibility of a 7.0-magnitude or above aftershock could strike by Sunday.

Meanwhile, experts are warning parents not to give infants tap water, as he nuclear crisis has spread radioactive contamination to water. Also, three nuclear plant workers were exposed to high-level radiation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on Thursday, two of them suffering from radiation burns. That brings the number of TEPCO workers exposed to radiation exceeding 100 millisieverts at the plant to 17.

Previously, Japan’s Cabinet Office estimated that total damages caused by the catastrophe, including destruction of social infrastructure, housing and corporate facilities in the region could cost between 16 and 25 trillion yen ($198 and $309 billion), which could cause the nation’s growth rate to drop by 0.5 percent.

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