Official police reports showed that 564 were killed and hundreds unaccounted for during the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the Tohoku region in northeastern Japan Friday afternoon. The numbers are expected to rise as more bodies are recovered.
Between 200 and 300 bodies were transferred in Sendai, while 200 bodies were transferred to gymnasiums in Miyagi, and 600 remain missing, said The Japan Times.
The National Police Agency said that about 210,000 people were evacuated in five prefectures.
Several aftershocks were felt in northern Honshu, Japan's mainland. A 6.7-magnitude temblor occurred on Saturday at 3:59 in an inland area on the Sea of Japan that hit Nagano and Niigata prefectures, northwest of Tokyo.
Around 3,400 buildings were either partially or completely destroyed while 200 fire incidents occurred in the areas devastated by yesterday's tremor.
Authorities said that 181 welfare faculties including nursing homes had been damaged.
An estimated one million households in 18 prefectures have had lost their water supply and about 5.5 million households have no power supply.
"This is the largest earthquake since the Meiji Era, and it is believed that more than 1,000 people have lost their lives," said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano on Saturday.
According to one of my Facebook friends, Lan Cruz, an engineer in Tokyo, panic consumer-buying is seen in the capital making it difficult to buy commodity items.
Another Tokyo-based Facebook friend, Rey Ian Corpuz posted, "Elections for Tokyo governor and mayors of the 23 wards in Tokyo next month are postponed.
"There are slight aftershocks every 15-25 minutes. Fukushima Reactor already exploded!
"My God... Iwate was devastated by tsunami around 3PM today!"
Details of this report here.