Signs of "HELP" and "SOS" are written on the ground of Ohara Primary School in Ishinomaki, Miyagi in northern Japan on Monday.

Close to 1,000 bodies have been found ashore at Miyagi's worst-hit Ojika Peninsula, a Japanese police official said.

A crematorium in a nearby town said it is "overwhelmed" by the large number of bodies being brought in for funerals.

>>Japan Death Toll Estimates Surpass 10,000

"We have already begun cremations, but we can only handle 18 bodies a day," Katsuhiko Abe, an official in Soma, told the AP. "We are overwhelmed and are asking other cities to help us deal with bodies. We only have one crematorium in town."

As the death toll climbs, Japanese towns continue to report shortages of body bags and coffins, AP reported.

"We have requested funeral homes across the nation to send us many body bags and coffins. But we simply don't have enough," said Hajime Sato, an Iwate government official. "We just did not expect such a thing to happen. It's just overwhelming."

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