Views have grown that the latest massive earthquake that hit northeastern and eastern Japan will turn out to be the worst natural disaster in Japan since the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923, which left some 100,000 people dead or missing in Tokyo and surrounding areas.
The death toll from Friday’s jolt will undoubtedly exceed 10,000, Naoto Takeuchi, police chief in Miyagi Prefecture, told a disaster relief meeting Sunday of the prefecture, which was hit most severely by the shake in the northeastern Japan region of Tohoku.
The same day, the Japan Meteorological Agency revised up the magnitude of the earthquake from 8.8 to 9.0, the largest on record in Japan and the world’s fourth largest.
The great quake was caused by successive ruptures of three gigantic faults in a complex manner, an extremely rare event, officials of the agency said.
Miyagi police announced the same day that 515 have died in the quake and many are still missing. Besides, the police newly found 200 bodies in the Nobiru district of Higashimatsushima and Self-Defense Forces troops have recovered 137 of them. There is also information that many bodies are floating off the coast of Ishinomaki. – Jiji Press