12 March 2011
Last updated at 22:01
A day after the Japanese earthquake, there are reports that as many as 10,000 people are unaccounted for in the devastated town of Minamisanriku, in the Miyagi prefecture. It was one of the areas that bore the brunt of Friday's tsunami and is now largely buried under mud.
There was further distress at the Fukushima 1 nuclear plant, about 250km (160 miles) north-east of Tokyo, where a large explosion has occurred. Four people are known to have been injured in the blast and thousands living nearby fled the area.
Officials in protective suits helped in the evacuation and scanned rescued residents for radioactive contamination.
Up to 200,000 people were moved to safety from the areas around the plants, including these elderly residents of a nursing home.
The area around the port city of Sendai was worst hit by the 8.9 magnitude quake and subsequent tsunami. More than 24 hours on, fires continue to rage at an industrial complex.
Meanwhile, Japan has launched a huge rescue and clear-up operation across the devastated region.
The military has mobilised thousands of troops, 300 planes and 40 ships to help search for survivors and restore some of the shattered infrastructure.
Helicopters have also been deployed to the worst-affected areas in the north-east of Honshu island.
More than 200,000 people are thought to have been forced from their homes.
People across north-eastern Honshu are contemplating a scene of devastation, with towns reduced to rubble by the disaster.
The Japanese government has appealed for help from other countries. The UK is sending search and rescue experts to help in the hunt for survivors.
Police said between 200 and 300 bodies had been found in Sendai, and hundreds of homes had been destroyed.
Many commuters in Tokyo were stranded overnight as the transport system was shut down for safety reasons.
Many people are still anxiously waiting for news of their loved ones. The tension proved difficult to bear - even for those who received good news.