Friday, March 18, 2011

Japan's death toll climbs to nearly 7,000



Japan documented more deaths Friday as Prime Minister Naoto Kan sought to reassure a nation reeling from disaster, saying that he is committed to taking firm control of a "grave" situation.

Japanese paused at the one-week mark following the monster earthquake and ensuing tsunami as the death toll continued its steady climb to 6,911, the National Police Agency reported. Another 10,316 people are missing.

Kan said the disaster has been a "great test for all of the people of Japan," but he was confident of the resolve of his people.

Amid a raised crisis level at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant from a 4 to 5 -- putting it on par with the 1979 incident at Pennsylvania's Three Mile Island -- Kan told his compatriots to bury their pessimism. (read more)