Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Death Toll in Japan?

With so much focus on the potential for another Chernobyl in Japan, the horror caused by the earthquake and tsunami has almost been lost.

In fact, the horror is beyond comprehension. From the Herald Sun of Australia:

THE terrible toll of Japan's double disaster could rise as high as 25,000.

As rescue crews trawled through the tsunami wasteland, officials from the coastal town of Ishinomaki confirmed 10,000 of its citizens were missing.

The unimaginable figure is the same as in the town of Minami Sanriku, which lost about half its population when razed by the 10m wall of water.

So far the official death toll has hit 4340, with another 9083 people missing. But there are very real fears that the statistics have been underestimated.

Chiba University associate professor Ken Joseph is in Ishinomaki with the Japan Emergency Team.

"I think the death toll is going to be closer to 100,000 than 10,000," he said.

"I have been to every disaster zone in the last 20 years and I have never seen anything remotely like this."

One particularly shocking report of the carnage comes from Time.com:

A tide of bodies washed up along Japan's coastline, crematoriums were overwhelmed and rescue workers ran out of body bags as the nation faced the grim reality of its mounting humanitarian, economic and nuclear crisis Monday after a calamitous tsunami...

A Japanese police official said 1,000 washed up bodies were found scattered Monday across the coastline of Miyagi prefecture. The official declined to be named, citing department policy.

Of course, there's a good reason for the bigger focus on the nuclear danger over the deaths caused by Mother Nature so far: if there is a serious nuclear power disaster, the death toll from it will dwarf what has happened so far...

Japan crisis: Death toll could top 25,000
March 18, 2011

Tide of 1,000 Bodies Overwhelms Japan
Monday, Mar. 14, 2011

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