10K dead in Japan amid fears of nuclear meltdowns

SENDAI, Japan (AP) - The estimated death toll from Japan's disasters has climbed past 10,000.

The death toll has surged because of an estimate from the police chief in Miyagi, one of the three hardest hit states. So far, only 400 people have been confirmed dead in Miyagi, which has a population of 2.3 million.

According to officials, more than 1,800 people are confirmed dead nationwide and more than 1,400 are missing. Another 1,900 are injured.

For Japan, one of the world's leading economies with ultramodern infrastructure, the disasters have plunged ordinary life into nearly unimaginable deprivation. Large areas of the countryside remain surrounded by water and unreachable.

Hundreds of thousands of people are struggling to find food and water. At least 1.4 million households have gone without water since the quake struck and some 1.9 million households are without electricity.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)