Japan’s central bank has injected 7 trillion yen (US$85.5 billion) into money markets Monday to stem worries about the world’s third-largest economy.
Stocks fell in early trading Monday on the first business day after the disasters. The benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average shed 494 points, or 4.8 percent, to 9,760.45 just after the market opened.
Preliminary estimates put repair costs from the earthquake and tsunami that struck Friday in the tens of billions of dollars — a huge blow for an already fragile economy that lost its place as the world’s No. 2 to China last year.
In the town of Minamisanrikucho, 10,000 people — nearly two-thirds of the population — have not been heard from since the tsunami wiped it out, a government spokesman said.
About a third of the town of Soma was wiped out, with several hundred homes washed away. Three districts of town on the shoreline are now covered in rubble, overturned cars and trucks and waist-high, dirty green water. A tiny pink girl’s bicycle, all twisted up, sits near a child’s backpack — just some of the personal belongings littering the landscape.
Atsushi Shishito sat in a daze on the concrete foundation of his home, now completely washed away. He sleeps at an evacuation center. The 30-year-old carried his grandmother to higher ground to escape the tsunami.
“All my other relatives are all dead,” he added. “Washed away.”
• Pitman reported from Sendai. Associated Press writers Kelly Olsen in Koriyama and Malcolm J. Foster, Mari Yamaguchi, Tomoko A. Hosaka and Shino Yuasa in Tokyo contributed to this report.