Saturday, April 30, 2011

[Geology2] Death toll from Japan earthquake reaches 14,435

Death toll from Japan earthquake reaches 14,435

By Leo Reyes.
April 29, 2011

The death toll from the recent devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan last March 11 has reached 14, 435 as of April 26 while more than 11,000 are still missing.

"In Miyagi Prefecture, 8,793 people were killed, while the figure for Iwate Prefecture was 4,283", Xinhua/ reports. The 9.0 magnitude earthquake which triggered a monster tsunami flattened parts of northeastern Japan causing massive destruction on the facilities of the Fukushima Nuclear Power plant which resulted in radiation leakage due to overheating nuclear plant reactors.

Thousands of residents living in the communities more than 20 miles off the nuclear plant have been evacuated to safer areas with temporary shelters to avoid contamination caused by radiation leaks. Weeks after the 9.0 magnitude quake hit northeastern Japan, several strong aftershocks have shaken the already heavily damaged areas prompting authorities to restrict residents from returning to their damaged communities until the aftershocks subside. About 130,000 survivors are staying in 2,300 shelters across the country, according to the Xinhua report.

Meanwhile, earthquake victims in the affected areas are facing serious health issues because of inadequate health facilities and poor nutrition. UPI reports, "In Miyagi Prefecture, one of the worst hit by the March 11 calamity, victims living in evacuation centers must deal with worsening hygienic conditions, power blackouts, insufficient water supply and poor nutrition in food provided by the shelters, Yomiuri Shimbun reported". "A doctor only had tap water to wash the bedsores of a 67-year-old bedridden stroke victim and used topical cream on the sores, the report said. Earlier the victim was without the use of an electrically-powered air mat for two weeks as her house had lost both electricity and telephone connection. The air mat helps prevent bedsores", the report added.

Almost two months after the giant tsunami hit the coastal communities in northeastern Japan, authorities are still faced with the daunting task of recovering thousands of dead or missing victims. Reconstruction and rehabilitation of affected communities are proceeding with caution due to recurring aftershocks which continue to hit many parts of the country.


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