13,000 Dead Or Missing In Japan

The official number of people dead and missing after the devastating earthquake and tsunami that flattened Japan’s northeast coast is nearing 13,000, according to police.

The number of confirmed dead from Friday’s twin disasters stood at 4314, while the official number of missing hit 8606. A total of 2282 people were injured in the disaster.

But reports indicate the final toll could be much higher.

The mayor of the coastal town of Ishinomaki in Miyagi prefecture said the number of missing there was likely to hit 10,000, Kyodo News reported.

On Saturday, public broadcaster NHK reported that around 10,000 people were unaccounted for in the port town of Minamisanriku in the same prefecture.

Amid a mass rescue effort there were grim updates indicating severe loss of life along the battered east coast of Honshu island, where the monster waves destroyed or damaged more than 55,380 homes and other buildings.