Japan Quake

Japan Death Toll Likely to Surpass 1,000

The death toll continues to climb as Japan recovers from the most powerful quake in its recorded history and the towering tsunami that followed. Japan’s Kyodo News agency said between 200 and 300 bodies have been found on a beach in Sendai, the population center nearest the quake’s epicenter, and another 110 people have been confirmed dead elsewhere. But the agency said the death toll will likely surpass 1,000. It could have been worse, though, if not for Japan’s strict building codes and state-of-the-art engineering. Meanwhile, the U.S. has redeployed several ships to Japan in preparation for humanitarian relief efforts, and the U.S. Air Force has delivered coolant to a nuclear power plant whose cooling system failed during the quake. Authorities have evacuated the area around the reactor and plan to release slightly radioactive vapor to ease increasing pressure. The shutdown of 11 power plants has left 4 million people without power, and many airports and transit systems remain closed.