Japan police say 200-300 found on northeast coast
TOKYO – Japanese police say 200 to 300 bodies have been found in a northeastern coastal area where a massive earthquake spawned a tsunami.
The magnitude 8.9 offshore quake unleashed a 23-foot (7-meter) tsunami and was followed by more than 50 aftershocks for hours, many of them of more than magnitude 6.0. Earlier, police confirmed at least 60 people had been killed and 56 were missing. The death toll was likely to continue climbing given the scale of Friday's disaster.
TOKYO (AP) — A ferocious tsunami spawned by one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded slammed Japan's eastern coast Friday, killing at least 60 people as it swept away boats, cars and homes while widespread fires burned out of control. Tsunami warnings blanketed the entire Pacific, as far away as South America, Canada, Alaska and the entire U.S. West Coast.
The magnitude 8.9 offshore quake unleashed a 23-foot (7-meter) tsunami and was followed by more than 50 aftershocks for hours, many of them of more than magnitude 6.0. Police said at least 60 people were killed and 56 were missing. The death toll was likely to continue climbing given the scale of the disaster.
The government ordered thousands of residents near a nuclear power plant in Onahama city to evacuate because the plant's system was unable to cool the reactor. The reactor was not leaking radiation but its core remained hot even after a shutdown. The plant is 170 miles (270 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo.
Dozens of cities and villages along a 1,300-mile (2,100-kilometer) stretch of coastline were shaken by violent tremors that reached as far away as Tokyo, hundreds of miles (kilometers) from the epicenter.
"The earthquake has caused major damage in broad areas in northern Japan," Prime Minister Naoto Kan said at a news conference.
Trouble was reported at two other nuclear plants as well, but there was no radiation leak at any.