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2,523 remain unaccounted for after 2011 earthquake, tsunami

  • March 9, 2022
  • , Jiji Press , 6:44 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, March 9 (Jiji Press)–A total of 2,523 people in six Japanese prefectures are still missing 11 years after the March 2011 major earthquake and tsunami, which struck the Tohoku northeastern region, the National Police Agency said Wednesday.

They include 1,213 in Miyagi, 1,110 in Iwate and 196 in Fukushima.

The NPA also said that the death toll from the quake and tsunami has reached 15,900, including 9,544 in Miyagi, 4,675 in Iwate and 1,614 in Fukushima

Since March last year, the identities of three bodies–two in Moiyagi and one in Iwate–have been newly confirmed. There are still 47 unidentified bodies in Iwate and six in Miyagi.

One of the newly identified bodies in Miyagi was the body of a woman, then 61, in the Miyagi city of Higashimatsushima. Her skeletonized remains were found at the premises of a factory in the city in February last year, and her identify was confirmed on March 4 that year, based on a tooth impression and the result of a DNA test.

The other two bodies were found soon after the quake and tsunami but had been unidentified as the bodies were damaged severely.

To confirm their identities, police used new approaches including mitochondrial DNA tests, as well as a method for estimating where victims were involved in the disasters from the locations where the bodies are found.

Police will continue work to identify the remaining bodies while searching for the missing people.

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