10,000 Feared Dead in one Town

The death toll from Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami is likely to exceed 10,000 in Miyagi Prefecture alone, its police chief says.

Naoto Takeuchi, quoted by state broadcaster NHK, says he has “no doubt” of that number of fatalities just in his prefecture, the region hardest hit by Friday’s devastating natural disasters.

“The death toll is almost certain to rise above 10,000,” he said.

Miyagi is one of the areas worst hit, with many of its towns and cities along the Pacific coast ravaged by the quake and the tsunami in addition to the fires that followed.

The government has said that at least 1,000 people are believed to have lost their lives in the disasters, but there are also reports of thousands of people who are unaccounted for.

The 8.9-magnitude quake hit Japan on Friday, triggering a wall of water up to 10 metres tall to surge inland.