As rescuers have not been able to completely access the tsunami-hit areas, the overall picture of the destruction remained unclear.
A municipal official of the town of Futaba, Fukushima, said, more than 90 per cent of the houses in three coastal communities have been washed away by tsunami. In the quake-hit areas, around 5.57 million households have lost power, while 6 lakh had their water supply cut off.
Nine expressways were closed and at least 312 domestic flights cancelled. The Tokyo police said more than 1 Lakh 20 thousand people in the capital were unable to return home last evening due to the suspension of train operations and traffic jams. Rescue teams from South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and other countries were set to arrive in Japan, after 50 nations offered support following the powerful earthquake, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.
A mammoth relief mission is swinging into action in north-east Japan. The military has mobilised thousands of troops, 300 planes and 40 ships. Police say 215,000 people have fled their homes, and there are reports that whole villages have been swept away
The Japanese Prime Minister said that today is a critical day for rescue teams to find survivors. He said the 50,000 rescue personnel deployed to the hardest-hit regions, including Japan’s Self Defence Force, will do their utmost to help those in need.
Meanwhile, foreign secretary Nirupama Rao says, all Indian nationals are safe in the quake-hit Japan. She said, she had spoken to Indian ambassador in Tokyo and according to presently available information with them all Indians there are safe. She said about 100 Indian nationals are in Sendai, the worst hit town in the massive earth quake and Tsunami. The Foreign Secretary said that India has pledged to assist Japan and that country will decide if it needs help.