Japan Quake Magnitude Upped to 9.0 as Officials Do Grim Accounting of Quake, Tsunami

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Japan is taking a grim accounting of the catastrophe and the figures are daunting -- from the number of people without electricity to the number of body bags needed.

Now, there's a new figure -- 9.0, the new order of magnitude of the massive earthquake, upgraded by U.S. and Japanese scientists from their earlier estimate of 8.9 magnitude.

Four days after the quake and tsunami struck, thousands of Japanese along the coast are struggling without food, water and power as the temperatures hovered above freezing.

The starkest figure is the growing death toll, which has risen past 2,400. But officials fear that the number only hints at the scale of the fatalities.

In the prefecture of Miyagi, a coastal area that took the full force of the tsunami, a Japanese police official told the Associated Press that 1,000 bodies were found along shore. In Miyagi, the police chief has said 10,000 people are estimated to have died in his province alone.

Morgues are overflowing and school gyms are being used instead, lining up bodies on the floor for people to identify. The traditional method of cremation has overwhelmed the local facilities and the supply of body bags has been exhausted.

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Almost as pressing is Japan's nuclear crisis as engineers try to manage two crippled nuclear reactors and today a third reactor has lost its ability to cool, raising fears of a meltdown.

The stock market plunged over the likelihood of huge losses by Japanese industries including big names such as Toyota and Honda. Toyota and Sony have halted production. And the central bank to line up a record $183 billion in funds to help stabilize the banking system.

According to the Japanese National Police Agency, 4,993 buildings collapsed fully or partially, and 39,876 buildings are damaged, figures that are likely to increase dramatically.

Roads in the quake area are quiet as cars have been abandoned on the roadside in some of Japan's hardest-hit areas.

"People are surviving on little food and water. Things are simply not coming," Hajime Sato, a government official in Lwate prefecture, one of the three most affected areas, told the Associated Press.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said 100,000 troops, plus 2,500 police, 1,100 emergency service teams, and more than 200 medical teams have been deployed for recovery efforts.

Ichiro Fujisaki, the nation's U.S. ambassador, said about 2.5 million households -- just over 4 percent of all households in Japan -- were without electricity Sunday, and 500,000 homes were without water.

There were worries over the welfare of the elderly population who live in some of the affected areas.

"They have some medicines for the immediate future, but in the coming weeks that's when it really could become an issue," Sam Taylor, spokesman for Doctors Without Borders, told the AP.

Americans in Sendai

The U.S. Embassy said that 100,000 Americans are known to be in Japan, and 1,300 of them live in the areas most affected by the earthquake and tsunami. There are no known American casualties.

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