The known deaths in Japan’s tsunami are close to 17 hundred. The missing number is at about 10 thousand, including nine and a half thousand in the town of Minamisanriku alone. Another town, named Rikuzentakata, was almost entirely washed away by the wave.
The earthquake struck on Friday afternoon with a Richter magnitude of 8.9. It immediately destroyed 18 hundred houses and damaged nuclear power plants in Fukushima Prefecture, the closest to the epicenter. Subsequent aftershocks prompted the evacuation of over 200 thousand people from as many as five northeastern prefectures.