The figure is more than half of the town’s population of 17,000, Japan Broadcasting Corporation NHK announced on Saturday.
On Friday, an 8.9-magnitude earthquake, off the northeastern coast of Japan’s main island, unleashed a 23-foot (7-meter) tsunami and was followed by more than 50 aftershocks for hours.
According to Japan’s National Police Agency, 703 people have been confirmed dead and 784 were missing, with 1,128 injured, excluding bodies reportedly found on the Sendai coast.
The combined number of people, who lost their lives or are unaccounted for in Friday’s catastrophic earthquake in Japan topped 1,200 Saturday, according to a police tally.
According to Japanese officials, the death toll is expected to exceed 1,000.