Japan is crumbling from a violent earthquake and a devastating tsunami. Residents are hoping to be spared from further catastrophic fate. According to CNN, there is a widespread of radiation from damaged nuclear plants. This is the country’s strongest earthquake in more than a century
The death toll from both the earthquake and tsunami has risen to 801. An additional 678 are missing, said the National Police Agency. Officials are fearful the numbers will increase tremendously once rescuers reach more hard-hit areas.
The government has evacuated more than 200,000 residents from homes close to the nuclear plant and test 160 people for radiation exposure on Sunday.
Meanwhile, in neighborhoods devoured by the tsunami, rescuers and devastated residents scramble to reach survivors. The city of Sendai lay in ruins, cars are stacked on top of each other; and a carpet of sludge covered the remains of what used to be homes.
The death toll is expected to surge. The number of dead in Miyagi prefecture alone “will undoubtedly be in the tens thousands.” Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported, citing the prefecture’s police chief.
At least 48 other countries and the European Union have also offered relief.
Friday’s quake is the strongest earthquake in recorded history to hit Japan with a magnitude of 8.9, according to U.S. Geologic Survey records that date to 1900. The world’s largest record earthquake took place in Chile on May 22, 1960 with a magnitude of 9.5.