Japan's police say disaster death toll at 9,700

The Associated Press
Thursday, March 24, 2011; 12:24 AM

TOKYO -- Japan's police agency says 9,700 people are dead after an earthquake and tsunami. Another 16,500 are missing.

Those tallies may overlap, but a police spokesman from one 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 about 3,800.

The National Police Agency said the overall number of bodies collected so far stood at 9,700, while 16,501 have been listed as missing.

© 2011 The Associated Press