Intended for healthcare professionals


Death toll climbs and healthcare needs escalate in Japan

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 22 March 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d1859
  1. Peter Moszynski
  1. 1London

Bad weather continues to disrupt emergency relief operations in Japan and is compounding the misery of the hundreds of thousands of people who survived but lost their homes in the 11 March earthquake and tsunami in the northeast of the country.

The number of documented casualties continues to rise. As at 21 March 8649 deaths had been confirmed, 13 262 people are officially missing, and 2644 people are injured. The final death toll is expected to be above 20 000.

More than 350 000 evacuees continue to endure cold weather at 2131 evacuation centres while blankets and other desperately needed relief supplies start to arrive.

The government has established a special task force for livelihood support of the affected populations, which is …

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