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Japan quake: 4,000 bodies remain unidentified

March 29, 2011 13:34 IST

The identities of around 4,000 bodies collected following March 11's 9.0-magnitute earthquake and ensuing tsunami still remain unconfirmed, the country's National Police Agency has said.

"They were collected at places far from their residential areas (because of being swept away by the tsunami), or their families as a whole must have been washed away by the tsunami," the Kyodo news agency said. 

Among the 4,000, the police have tentatively identified 1,700 bodies from their belongings and put the information on police websites. For the remaining 2,300, the police have posted information only about clothes and physical sizes, as it is difficult to reach any conclusions about identities.

Over 28,000 people were killed or remain unaccounted for in the quake and tsunami.

Meanwhile, highly radioactive water has been found outside reactor no. 2 of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan, Tokyo Electric Power Company officials have said. The water was found in an underground maintenance tunnel, with one end located about 55m from the shore. The leak in a tunnel has raised fears of radioactive liquid seeping into the environment.

Radiation levels were measured at 1,000 millisieverts an hour, an amount that can cause temporary radiation sickness. However, TEPCO said there was no evidence that the contaminated water had reached the sea.

TEPCO said plutonium was also detected in soil at five locations at the plant but not at levels that represented a risk to human health. According to the BBC, the twin discoveries came hours after the government criticised TEPCO for issuing incorrect readings from the plant.

TEPCO said radiation levels at Fukushima Daiichi reactor no. 2 were 10 million times higher than normal before correcting that figure to 100,000. Later, the company apologised for giving incorrect readings.

Source: ANI