Japan: More than 200 bodies at new quake site

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More than 200 bodies have been found at a new site in northeast Japan, where an earthquake and tsunami caused massive destruction, police said.

"We have received a preliminary report that more than 200 bodies were found in the city of Higashimatsushima," a National Police Agency spokesman said, adding that local police are starting to collect the bodies.

Hundreds of other residents in the city's Nobiru district are unaccounted for, the Sankei Shimbun and other newspapers said.

On Saturday police in the city of Sendai said at least 200 and up to 300 bodies had been found on the shoreline there.

Earlier on Sunday, the National Police Agency said in a statement the confirmed death toll from Friday's twin disasters is 688, with 642 missing and 1570 injured.

That figure did not include the bodies found at Sendai and Higashimatsushima. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano has said it was believed more than 1000 people had died nationwide.

Amid a mass rescue effort there were grim updates indicating severe loss of life along the hard-hit east coast of Honshu island, where the monster waves destroyed or damaged more than 12,250 homes and other buildings.

At least 2400 houses were flooded by the tsunami, while more than 100 houses had been burned, police said, adding that there were 60 landslides.

- AFP

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