Japan disaster death-missing toll passes 11,000: policeTokyo (AFP) March 16, 2011 - The official toll of the dead and missing following a devastating earthquake and tsunami that flattened Japan's northeast coast has topped 11,000, with 3,676 confirmed dead, police said Wednesday. The total number of people unaccounted for in the wake of Friday's twin disasters rose by more than 800 to 7,558, the national police agency said in its latest update. The number of injured stood at 1,990. On Sunday, the police chief of Miyagi, one of the hardest-hit prefectures, said the number of deaths was expected to exceed 10,000 in his region alone. 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.
Tokyo (AFP) March 16, 2011 The mayor of a town near Japan's quake-damaged and stricken Fukushima nuclear plant said Wednesday that it desperately needs help for thousands of evacuees sheltered there. "We have received many people who were evacuated from the area near the plant," Masao Hara, mayor of Koriyama city, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) east of the nuclear plant, told AFP by mobile telephone.
"Right now some 9,000 people are at shelters in Koriyama," he told AFP, including 200 at a baseball stadium which was recently renovated to receive disaster evacuees.
"What we urgently need now is fuel, heavy and light oil, water and food. More than anything else, we need fuel because we can't do anything without it. We can't stay warm or work the water pumps.
"We also need to move our vehicles to collect garbage. I really would like to appeal to the world: We need help."
More than 200,000 people have been evacuated from a 20 kilometre radius around the power station, which has been rocked by a series of explosions and seen local spikes of radiation at levels damaging to human health.
"People are worried but acting very calmly," said Hara. "They're not in a panic at all. They get more concerned after they watch television and see how anxious the rest of the country is."
The Fukushima plant was damaged in Friday's massive quake and tsunami calamity, which killed thousands and left large parts of northern Japan desperately short of water, food, fuel and other basic necessities.