Captured: Earthquake Death Toll Rises in Japan as presented by: Denver Post

There are just too many bodies. Hundreds of dead have washed ashore on Japanís devastated northeast coast since last weekís earthquake and tsunami. Others were dug out of the debris Monday by firefighters using pickaxes and chain saws. Funeral homes and crematoriums are overwhelmed, and officials have run out of body bags and coffins. Compounding the disaster, water levels dropped precipitously inside a Japanese nuclear reactor, twice leaving the uranium fuel rods completely exposed and raising the threat of a meltdown, hours after a hydrogen explosion tore through the building housing a different reactor. On the economic front, Japanís stock market plunged over the likelihood of huge losses by Japanese industries including big names such as Toyota and Honda. While the official death toll rose to nearly 1,900, the discovery of the washed-up bodies and other reports of deaths suggest the true number is much higher. In Miyagi, the police chief has estimated 10,000 deaths in his province alone. Miyagi prefecture bore the full force of Fridayís tsunami, and police said 1,000 bodies were found scattered across its coast. The Kyodo news agency reported that 2,000 bodies washed up on two shorelines in Miyagi. The debris of the destroyed Natori neighborhood of Sendai, Japan, on Sunday, March 13, 2011, that was hit hard by the tsunami in the aftermath of an 8.9 earthquake. Fires continue to burn in the neighborhood as civil servants are finally able to enter the area to search for victims. An SOS sign is written on the ground of Shizugawa High School in Minamisanrikucho in Miyagi Prefecture (state), northern Japan, Sunday, March 13, 2011, two days after the powerful earthquake and tsunami hit the area. Japanese rescue team members carry the body of a man from the village of Saito, in northeastern Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011. Rescue workers used chain saws and hand picks Monday to dig out bodies in Japan's devastated coastal towns, as Asia's richest nation faced a mounting humanitarian, nuclear and economic crisis in the aftermath of a massive earthquake and tsunami that likely killed thousands.


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