2011/03/12

At least 337 dead in Japan quake: AFP tally

TOKYO, March 11, 2011 (AFP) - At least 337 people were killed in the massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake that hit Japan on Friday, unleashing huge tsunamis along its Pacific coast, police and press reports said.

The National Police Agency said 137 people had been confirmed dead and 531 missing, with 627 others injured in the tremor.

"The death toll has yet to include the 200-300 dead bodies which were (reportedly) found on the beach of Sendai," a spokesman for the agency said.

Around 200 to 300 bodies were found in a part of Japan's quake and tsunami hit Pacific coast town of Sendai, according to media reports.

Kyodo News and Jiji Press agency said the bodies were reported found in Sendai's Wakabayashi ward following the powerful seabed earthquake that sent a massive tsunami slamming into the coast.

Of the dead, 57 were found in Iwate prefecture, near the epicentre, the agency said. Three were killed in Tokyo.