Death toll rises to 5,178 in Japan following Friday's colossal quake: police

11:08, March 17, 2011      

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U.S. rescuers search for survivors in Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, Japan, on March 17, 2011. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)

The National Police Agency said Thursday that Friday's catastrophic quake and ensuing tsunami have left 5,178 people dead and 8,606 others unaccounted for in Japan by 10:00 a.m. local time (0100 GMT).

Around 380,000 evacuees are now living in shelters in eight prefectures, including the worst-hit Miyagi, Fukushima and Iwate prefectures, said the agency.

Separately, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said that up to 100,300 houses have been destroyed or partially damaged since the disaster occurred Friday.

A lack of food, drinking water, medicine and fuel has been a common problem in quake-hit areas, where supplies of essential resources have been wiped out and communications infrastructures crippled.

A 9.0-magnitude earthquake hit the Pacific coastal areas of northeastern and eastern Japan, triggering enormous tsunami. Heavy casualties and extensive damage have been caused in the disaster.

Source: Xinhua

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