Japan death toll climbs; Half a million homeless

The official death toll from the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck northeastern Japan was raised to 3,676 Wednesday, but it is expected climb above 10,000 as nearly 8,000 people are still missing. Some 434,000 people were made homeless and are living in shelters.

Nearly than half a million people are homeless and living in shelters. The quake and wall of water washed away their lives as they knew them.

The shelters are overwhelmed. With no running water, people have to use buckets of water to flush toilets. Even a proud and prosperous country like Japan is overwhelmed by the destruction.

"I'm too old to be homeless," one woman told CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy.

Complete coverage: Disaster in Japan

With each passing day, more and more poignant stories of survivors and victims are emerging.

Immediately after the quake, Katsutaro Hamada, 79, fled to safety with his wife. But then he went back home to retrieve a photo album of his granddaughter, 14-year-old Saori, and grandson, 10-year-old Hikaru.

Just then the tsunami came and swept away his home. Rescuers found Hamada's body, crushed by the first floor bathroom walls. He was holding the album to his chest, Kyodo news agency reported.

While Japan's defense forces search for bodies in lakes left by the tsunami, 45 other countries including the U.S. and China are sending in search and rescue teams. But they haven't been able to get to some of the hardest hit areas because of the radiation leaking from the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

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More than 90 nations have now offered aid and at least $59 million in donations have poured in. But the damage is so much more -- estimated at nearly $200 billion.

The White House says the Agency for International Development -- known as USAID -- is coordinating all U.S. support efforts to the Japanese government, CBS News White House correspondent Bill Plante reports.

There are two urban search and rescue teams on the ground, from Los Angeles and Fairfax County, Va., with 114 rescuers and 12 rescue dogs.

The military sent eight ships, more than 100 helicopters and nearly 5,300 personnel. Their mission includes recon flights to assess damage, delivering food and water, and coordinating rescue operations.

And the Department of Energy sent a team of 34 people with equipment to monitor radiation levels. In addition, a team of nuclear experts in Washington is communicating with Japanese counterparts to advise on repairing the nuclear reactors.

Frustration is mounting among residents of Fukushima prefecture, where the stricken nuclear reactors are located, reports CBS News' Harry Smith. Japanese nuclear authorities have a history of being less than forthcoming about the safety of their reactors, contributing to confusion and distrust.

Many are leaving Tokyo. Several major international corporations have closed their offices, and even sent workers south, Smith reports

In an extremely rare appearance, Japan's Emperor Akihito addressed his people Wednesday, expressing condolences for the loss of life -- and encouraging his subjects not to give up.

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