Remembering quake victims
Tokyo (CNN) — Japan documented more deaths today as Prime Minister Naoto Kan sought to reassure a nation reeling from disaster, saying that he is committed to taking firm control of a “grave” situation.
Japanese paused at the one-week mark following the monster earthquake and ensuing tsunami as the death toll continued its steady climb to 6 911, the National Police Agency reported. Another 10 316 people are missing.
Kan said the disaster has been a “great test for all of the people of Japan,” but he was confident of the resolve of his people.
Amid a raised crisis level at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant from a 4 to 5 — putting it on par with the 1979 incident at Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island — Kan told his compatriots to bury their pessimism.
“With a tsunami and earthquake we don’t have any room to be pessimistic,” he said. “We are going to create Japan again from scratch. We should face this challenge together.”
Kan acknowledged the situation at the Fukushima plant remains “very grave” and said his government has disclosed all that it knows to both the Japanese people and the international community.
“The police, fire department and self defense forces are all working together, putting their lives on the line, in an attempt to resolve the situation,” he said.
Search teams continued today to comb through the rubble and residents of decimated towns sifted through twisted metal and broken wood beams, looking for remnants of the lives they lost. Rescuers planted red flags where they found dead bodies.