Japanese police say disaster death toll tops 9,000

In this photo taken Sunday, March 20, 2011, streets built recently run through debris in an devastated area in Miyako, northern Japan, after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. (AP Photo/Tokyo Shimbun, Tetsuaki Kohira)

March 22, 2011 5:52:49 AM PDT
Japan's police agency says more than 9,000 people are dead after an earthquake and tsunami. Another 13,500 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 areas 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 9,080, while 13,561 people have been listed as missing.

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