Japan struggles to regain footing, aftershocks continue

IWAKI, Japan (WVLT) -- Japan is struggling to determine the scope of damage from the most powerful earthquake in its recorded history, and the tsunami that ravaged its northeast Friday.

Nearly 700 are known to have died, but a government official says the death toll could far exceed 1,000.

Teams are searching for the missing along hundreds of miles of the Japanese coast. Police say more than 215,000 people are living in more than 1,300 temporary shelters.

Four million households remain without power. And at least a million households have gone without water since the quake struck. Large areas of the countryside are surrounded by water and unreachable because of debris.

All highways from Tokyo leading to quake-stricken areas are closed, except for emergency vehicles. Mobile communications are spotty and calls to the devastated areas are going unanswered.

The USGS shows more than 250 aftershocks have hit the country since the devastating quake. In a 12 hour time span Saturday, Volunteer TV mapped more than 60 aftershocks, of 4.0 or higher.

Each point of magnitude releases about 10 times more energy. So, the 8.9 was 40 times stronger than majority of Saturday's aftershocks.


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