Japanese police say disaster death toll tops 9,000

10:53 PM, Mar 21, 2011   |    comments
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TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's police agency says more than 9,000 people were killed the massive March 11 earthquake and tsunami. More than 12,600 are missing.

Those tallies are likely to overlap, but police officials estimate that the final figure will likely exceed 18,000 deaths.

A police spokesman from one of the of the hardest-hit prefectures, Miyagi, estimates that the deaths will top 15,000 in that region alone. Police in other devastated coastal areas of northeast Japan declined to estimate eventual tolls, but said the confirmed deaths in their areas already number nearly 3,400.

The National Police Agency said the overall number of bodies collected so far stood at 9,079, while 12,645 people have been listed as missing.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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