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Japan Death Toll Estimates Surpass 10,000

Updated from 10:01 a.m. EST with the rising death toll in Japan.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Estimates of the death toll from Friday's earthquake and tsunami in Japan surpassed 10,000 as the nation struggled to avert multiple nuclear reactor meltdowns.

A survivor of the tsunami that swept through his village of Saito, in northeastern Japan, retells the story to a rescue team that arrived to search the area on Monday.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said the disaster was the nation's worst crisis since World War II.

The official death toll from the disaster reached 1,897 on Monday, CNN reported. The death toll continues to rise every few hours as search and rescue efforts are underway.

More than 3,000 people were missing Monday, the National Police Agency said, and 450,000 were living in shelters, NHK reported.

About 2,000 bodies were found Monday in Miyagi Prefecture on Japan's northeast coast, according to the Kyodo news agency, CNN reported. If confirmed, the discovery would be the largest yet of victims from the earthquake and tsunami.

Police in Miyagi, one of the worst-hit states, estimated over the weekend that more than 10,000 people had been killed, according to The Associated Press.

Thousands of residents have lost their homes, while many others are without electricity or water. Roads and railways throughout much of Japan's northeast region have been damaged or destroyed. The estimated the cost of the multiple disasters is as much as $170 billion, Reuters reported, as analysts fear the economy may fall back into recession.

Kan said that Japan's future would be decided by its response to the disaster, the AP said.

Kan also said it would take days to restore electricity. In the meantime, Japan will ration electricity, with rolling blackouts in several cities including the capital, Tokyo, the AP reported.

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