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At least 288 dead in Japan quake: AFP tally

200-300 dead bodies were not included in Japan's official death toll

AFP, Friday 11 Mar 2011
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At least 288 people were killed in the massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake that hit Japan on Friday, unleashing huge tsunamis along its Pacific coast, police and press reports said.

The National Police Agency said 88 people had been confirmed dead and 349 missing, with 330 others injured in the tremor.

"The death toll doesn't include the 200-300 dead bodies which were (reportedly) found on the beach of Sendai," a spokesman for the agency said.

Around 200 to 300 bodies were found in a part of Japan's quake and tsunami hit Pacific coast town of Sendai, according to media reports.

Kyodo News and Jiji Press agency said the bodies were reported found in Sendai's Wakabayashi ward following the powerful seabed earthquake that sent a massive tsunami slamming into the coast.

Of the dead, 34 were found in Iwate prefecture, near the epicentre, the agency said. Three were killed in Tokyo.

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