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Japan Earthquake Death Toll Rises (with video)

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Aerial footage of a hotel swept by a massive landslide

Rescuers in northern Japan have found three more bodies, bringing the confirmed death toll from Saturday's earthquake to nine, officials say.

Four more people are feared buried by a mudslide at a hot spring hotel near the town of Kurihara, Miyagi region.

With major roads buckled and unusable, rescuers are hiking through mountain trails to reach isolated towns.

Twelve people are still missing and more than 200 have been injured after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake.

There have been more than 200 aftershocks since Saturday.


The quake was centred on Iwate, a rural mountainous region on Japan's main island, Honshu.


Military helicopters have been taking in supplies and flying the injured to hospitals.

A small amount of radioactive water was leaked at a nuclear power station.

But officials said there was no danger to the public from the minor spillage at the facility in Fukushima.

Seismologists issued a warning of the earthquake moments before it struck at about 0845 (2343 GMT) on Friday

Footage from NHK television showed surveillance cameras in the city of Sendai being shaken violently for about 30 seconds.

Japan is one of the world's most earthquake-prone countries and experiences thousands of minor tremors each year.

An earthquake last year caused a small radioactive leak from the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant.