Japanese Official: Death toll from earthquake likely to exceed 1,000
JAPAN- Japan is struggling to determine the scope of damage from the most powerful earthquake in its recorded history, and the tsunami that ravaged its northeast Friday.
Hundreds are known to have died, but a government official says the death toll could far exceed 1,000.
Teams are searching for the missing along hundreds of miles of the Japanese coast. Police say more than 215,000 people are living in over 1,300 temporary shelters in five prefectures.
Four million households remain without power. And at least a million households have gone without water since the quake struck.
Large areas of the countryside are surrounded by water and unreachable because of debris.
In Ichihara, firefighters have yet to contain a large blaze at an oil refinery.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan says 50,000 troops have joined rescue and recovery efforts.
All highways from Tokyo leading to quake-stricken areas are closed, except for emergency vehicles. Mobile communications are spotty and calls to the devastated areas are going unanswered.