Japan:After-quake deaths top 500
Laaska News May 13,2011
NHK has learned that at least 524 survivors of the March 11th disaster have died — many of them due to stress and fatigue.
NHK contacted 241 hospitals in the 3 disaster-stricken prefectures in northeastern Japan.
It found the number of survivors who have died due to wide-ranging effects of the disaster reached 347 in Miyagi, 123 in Fukushima and 54 in Iwate.
41 percent of the deaths occurred during the first 2 weeks after March 11th. 26 people have died since the start of May, and the figure continues to rise.
Nearly 90 percent of the victims were aged 65 or older. But children as young as 2 have also succumbed to hypothermia and infectious diseases.
62 percent of the deaths involved cardiac and respiratory failures, including heart infarction and pneumonia.
Most deaths in the first 2 weeks following the disaster were related to shock, or due to the loss of power to medical equipment.
But the causes of deaths during the most recent 2 weeks were more preventable. They include fatigue and stress caused by extended stays at public shelters, which led to declines in immunity and high blood pressure.
Jichi Medical University Professor Kazuomi Kario has treated patients in disaster areas.
He says deaths can be prevented by improving food, sleep and living conditions. He says it is a great shame to lose people who have survived the quake and tsunami.
Japan:80% of survivors feel mental and physical strains