Japan: 9,400 dead so far; disaster to cost $309 billion

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March 23, 2011, 8:21 a.m. |

An official updates a list of the dead outside a temporary morgue at a bowling alley in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Monday, March 21, 2011 as the death toll continues to rise following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated the northeast coast of Japan. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's police agency says more than 9,400 people are dead after an earthquake and tsunami. More than 14,700 are missing. Meanwhile, Japan's government estimates earthquake and tsunami will cost up to $309 billion Those tallies are likely to overlap, but police officials estimate that the final figure will likely exceed 18,000 deaths.

A police spokesman from one of the of the hardest-hit prefectures, Miyagi, estimates that the deaths will top 15,000 in that region alone. Police in other devastated areas declined to estimate eventual tolls, but said the confirmed deaths in their areas already number nearly 3,700.

The National Police Agency said the overall number of bodies collected so far stood at 9,408, while 14,716 people have been listed as missing.
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