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As Japan mourns dead, many bodies remain missing

 A coffin is carried from a temporary morgue at a bowling alley in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Monday, March 21, 2011 as the death toll continues to ri...
 Rescue workers sift through debris during a search in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Monday, March 21, 2011 following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami...
 People check 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 ...
 Rescue workers sift through debris during a search in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Monday, March 21, 2011 following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami...
 A rescue worker sifts through debris during a search in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Monday, March 21, 2011 following the March 11 earthquake and tsuna...
 A woman takes photos from a bus taking residents on a tour through their devastated suburb in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Monday, March 21, 201...
 Residents pay their last respects to a victim as a van carrying the coffin leaves a temporary morgue at a bowling alley in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture ...
 An Urban Search and Rescue officer from South Africa sifts through debris during a search of a suburb in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Monday, Ma...
 A coffin is carried from a temporary morgue at a bowling alley in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Monday, March 21, 2011 as the death toll continue...
 A man checks 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 ...
 A bus takes residents on a tour through their devastated suburb in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Monday, March 21, 2011 following the March 11 ea...
 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 deat...
 Urban Search and Rescue officers from South Africa look at the wreckage of a bus embedded in a building during a search of a suburb in Natori, Miyagi...
 Buses take residents on a tour through their devastated suburb in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Monday, March 21, 2011 following the March 11 ear...
 Rescue workers sift through debris during a search in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Monday, March 21, 2011 following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami...
 Residents pay their last respects to a victim as a van carrying the coffin leaves a temporary morgue at a bowling alley in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture ...
 A coffin is carried from a temporary morgue at a bowling alley in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Monday, March 21, 2011 as the death toll continues to ri...
 People wait outside a temporary morgue at a bowling alley in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Monday, March 21, 2011 as the death toll continues to rise fo...
 An Urban Search and Rescue officer from South Africa walks along a road during a search of a suburb in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Monday, Marc...
 People come to a temporary morgue at a bowling alley in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Monday, March 21, 2011 as the death toll continues to rise followi...
 People check 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 ...
 A bus takes residents on a tour through their devastated suburb as rescue workers continue to search through the debris in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture,...
 The remains of a house sits amongst debris in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Monday, March 21, 2011, following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami...
 Residents pay their last respects to a victim as a van carrying the coffin leaves a temporary morgue at a bowling alley in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture ...
 Family members watch Japan Ground Self-Defense Force personnel search for remains of a fellow family member in their home in Natori, Miyagi Prefectur...
 A fishing boat sits amongst debris of houses and cars in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Monday, March 21, 2011, following the March 11 earthquake ...
 An officer in the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force hands personal belongings to a woman as they search for the remains of a fellow family member in th...
 Japan Ground Self-Defense Force personal pause during a search in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Monday, March 21, 2011, following the March 11 ea...
 Family members check through some personal belongings retrieved from their home in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Monday, March 21, 2011, followin...
 Family members watch Japan Ground Self Defense Force personnel search for remains of a fellow family member in their home in Natori, Miyagi Prefectur...
 Family members watch Japan Ground Self-Defense Force personnel search for remains of a fellow family member in their home in Natori, Miyagi Prefectur...

Japan Earthquake

A coffin is carried from a temporary morgue at a bowling alley in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Monday, March 21, 2011 as the death toll continues to ri...

Japan Earthquake

Rescue workers sift through debris during a search in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Monday, March 21, 2011 following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami...

Japan Earthquake

People check 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 ...

Japan Earthquake

Rescue workers sift through debris during a search in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Monday, March 21, 2011 following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami...

Japan Earthquake

A rescue worker sifts through debris during a search in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Monday, March 21, 2011 following the March 11 earthquake and tsuna...

Japan Earthquake

A woman takes photos from a bus taking residents on a tour through their devastated suburb in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Monday, March 21, 201...

Japan Earthquake

Residents pay their last respects to a victim as a van carrying the coffin leaves a temporary morgue at a bowling alley in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture ...

Japan Earthquake

An Urban Search and Rescue officer from South Africa sifts through debris during a search of a suburb in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Monday, Ma...

Japan Earthquake

A coffin is carried from a temporary morgue at a bowling alley in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Monday, March 21, 2011 as the death toll continue...

Japan Earthquake

A man checks 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 ...

Japan Earthquake

A bus takes residents on a tour through their devastated suburb in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Monday, March 21, 2011 following the March 11 ea...

Japan Earthquake

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 deat...

Japan Earthquake

Urban Search and Rescue officers from South Africa look at the wreckage of a bus embedded in a building during a search of a suburb in Natori, Miyagi...

Japan Earthquake

Buses take residents on a tour through their devastated suburb in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Monday, March 21, 2011 following the March 11 ear...

Japan Earthquake

Rescue workers sift through debris during a search in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Monday, March 21, 2011 following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami...

Japan Earthquake

Residents pay their last respects to a victim as a van carrying the coffin leaves a temporary morgue at a bowling alley in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture ...

Japan Earthquake

A coffin is carried from a temporary morgue at a bowling alley in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Monday, March 21, 2011 as the death toll continues to ri...

Japan Earthquake

People wait outside a temporary morgue at a bowling alley in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Monday, March 21, 2011 as the death toll continues to rise fo...

Japan Earthquake

An Urban Search and Rescue officer from South Africa walks along a road during a search of a suburb in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Monday, Marc...

Japan Earthquake

People come to a temporary morgue at a bowling alley in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Monday, March 21, 2011 as the death toll continues to rise followi...

Japan Earthquake

People check 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 ...

Japan Earthquake

A bus takes residents on a tour through their devastated suburb as rescue workers continue to search through the debris in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture,...

Japan Earthquake

The remains of a house sits amongst debris in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Monday, March 21, 2011, following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami...

APTOPIX Japan Earthquake

Residents pay their last respects to a victim as a van carrying the coffin leaves a temporary morgue at a bowling alley in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture ...

Japan Earthquake

Family members watch Japan Ground Self-Defense Force personnel search for remains of a fellow family member in their home in Natori, Miyagi Prefectur...

APTOPIX Japan Earthquake

A fishing boat sits amongst debris of houses and cars in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Monday, March 21, 2011, following the March 11 earthquake ...

Japan Earthquake

An officer in the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force hands personal belongings to a woman as they search for the remains of a fellow family member in th...

Japan Earthquake

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force personal pause during a search in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Monday, March 21, 2011, following the March 11 ea...

Japan Earthquake

Family members check through some personal belongings retrieved from their home in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Monday, March 21, 2011, followin...

Japan Earthquake

Family members watch Japan Ground Self Defense Force personnel search for remains of a fellow family member in their home in Natori, Miyagi Prefectur...

Japan Earthquake

Family members watch Japan Ground Self-Defense Force personnel search for remains of a fellow family member in their home in Natori, Miyagi Prefectur...

Officials and rescue teams increasingly believe many of those missing after a tsunami hit Japan last week will never be found.
The death toll along Japan's ravaged northeast coast climbed over 9,000 on Tuesday. More than 12,000 people remain missing.
Those in search of the dead in the city of Natori go to a makeshift morgue at a bowling alley. They peer into satin-wrapped coffins arranged in neat rows. They rarely find the people they seek.
Natori Mayor Isoo Sasaki said those that find deceased relatives may be the lucky ones. He added: "Many people will not find a body at all."
That's what happened in a 2004 tsunami in Indonesia. About 37,000 people disappeared. Their bodies are presumed to have washed out to sea.


Updated : 2021-02-25 19:27 GMT+08:00