The death toll from Japan’s 8.9 magnitude earthquake that triggered a devastating 30-foot tsunami could rise to more than 1,300, government officials said. Most of the victims drowned, with about 200 to 300 bodies found along the water in Sendai, the closest major city to the quake’s epicenter off the coast of Honshu. The quake struck Friday at 2:46 p.m. Tokyo time, and by Saturday morning, thousands of homes were destroyed and public transportation was down, as well as power and cellphones. Although many lost their lives, countless other lives were saved by Japan’s disaster preparedness and strict construction codes, and the economy was largely spared because the earthquake struck far from Japan’s industrial heartland. Rescuers are still struggling to search for people in the rubble—as well as three passenger trains that have gone missing—and thousands of people are stranded on rooftops throughout the coastal cities.
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