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NPR News

Many From Stricken Japanese Town Still Missing

SCOTT SIMON, Host:

NPR's Stu Seidel has been in Japan since just a few days following the earthquake and tsunami. He spent most of his time in Tokyo, but earlier this week, Stu visited the northern coast of Japan. And, Stu, please tell us where you went and what you saw.

STU SEIDEL: Everywhere, there was debris - most of the buildings in northern Japan are made of wood - and the debris was like a field of broken-up two-by-fours.

SIMON: Any people?

SEIDEL: I have no idea - I don't think anybody has any firm idea - of how many people died in Rikuzentakata. It's certainly in the confirmed hundreds. There are estimates that as many as 40 percent of the residents of the town are still missing.

SIMON: And, Stu, any who survived, where are they now?

SEIDEL: The other list was of the people are confirmed to have died. And there was woman standing there looking at that list. And she was just standing, staring at a single page.

SIMON: NPR's Stu Seidel in Tokyo, thanks so much.

SEIDEL: Certainly, Scott. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.