2,525 Still Missing from March 2011 Quake, Tsunami


Tokyo, March 9 (Jiji Press)--The number of missing people from the March 2011 major earthquake and tsunami, which mainly struck the Tohoku region of northeastern Japan, stood at 2,525 in six prefectures as of March 1 this year, the National Police Agency said Tuesday.

Of the total, 1,215 are from Miyagi Prefecture, 1,111 from Iwate Prefecture and 196 from Fukushima Prefecture. The three prefectures, all in Tohoku, were hit hardest by the March 11 disaster.

Meanwhile, the death toll from the quake and tsunami came to 15,900 in 12 prefectures as of the beginning of this month, including a woman whose remains were identified in Miyagi on Thursday. The number of deaths stood at 9,543 in Miyagi, 4,675 in Iwate and 1,614 in Fukushima.

Between March last year and February this year, three remains were identified as being those of people who went missing in the disaster, with two of the remains in Miyagi and one in Iwate. All three bodies were discovered in 2011, but had not been identified.

In the identification process, police studied the physical characteristics of the remains and analyzed their mitochondrial DNA, which is maternally inherited. Based on accumulated data, the police also used the method known as "mapping pointing," in which the sites of the remains' discovery are used to estimate the locations in which the victims experienced the disaster.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press