Japan Quake Death toll could top 1,000

The death toll from a powerful earthquake that rocked the northeastern and eastern regions of Japan on Friday is likely to surpass 1,000 as around 1,800 houses in Fukushima Prefecture were found to have been destroyed, according to the Defense Ministry.

A National Police Agency tally as of 4 a.m. Saturday showed that 178 people were killed and 584 others were missing as a result of the magnitude 8.8 temblor which struck around 2:46 p.m. Friday.

Meanwhile, around 200 to 300 bodies were found in Sendai’s Wakabayashi Ward, the Miyagi prefectural police said. Officials of the ward facing the Pacific Ocean said almost all of the approximately 1,200 households within a district for which a tsunami alert had been issued were affected by tsunami waves.

Several hundred other people were injured across an extensive area of Japan, the police said.

Dozens of people died in Iwate Prefecture as a result of the quake, including some due to a quake-triggered tsunami, while one or more deaths were reported in other prefectures including Fukushima, Miyagi, Tokyo, Ibaraki, Chiba, Kanagawa and Tochigi, according to local officials.

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