The confirmed death toll from a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and devastating tsunami on March 11 that hit northeastern and eastern Japan has jumped to 5,321 and 9,329 others people remained missing as of 2 p.m. (0500 GMT) on Thursday, the government announced.
Of the total, 2,896 deaths have been confirmed in the hardest-hit Miyagi Prefecture alone, while 1,824 people were killed in neighboring Iwate Prefecture, the National Police Agency said.
Seven people were also killed in Tokyo. The death toll is expected to further rise, as the current tally of missing people reflects only the number actually registered with the police.
As of Thursday afternoon, about 386,000 people sought refuge in 2,200 shelters.
The figure included about 6,000 evacuees from Fukushima Prefecture to other prefectures amid radiation leak fears at the quake-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
Some neighboring prefectures began screening tests and health counseling services for the Fukushima evacuees.
Meanwhile, Sendai Airport, which was submerged by a tsunami following the quake, reopened a part of its runways for use by police and Self-Defense Forces (SDF) airplanes to transport relief materials, Kyodo News Agency said, adding that the airport has not been decided when commercial flights will be resumed.
Local governments and companies across Japan deliver goods to collection points at SDF bases and stations, and the SDF deliver the goods via helicopters and ships. Individuals can also take goods to the nearest municipal government.
As another development, express bus lines in some areas were resumed Thursday.