More than 12,000 people have been confirmed dead in the March 11th earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan.

Miyagi Prefecture has reported the highest number of deaths, 7,374. Neighboring Iwate Prefecture has reported 3,540, followed by Fukushima Prefecture, which has 1,113 confirmed dead.

Deaths have been reported in a wide area from the northernmost main island of Hokkaido to Kanagawa Prefecture in the Kanto region. Seven died in Tokyo.

The overall number of confirmed dead is 10,208. That number includes deaths confirmed in the course of a 3-day joint operation by the Self-Defense Forces, the US military and others that ended on Sunday.

About 81 percent of bodies have been identified and are being handed over to families.

Police say more than 15,000 are missing, based on reports made by people who have lost contact with relatives. The number of dead and missing exceeds 27,600.

The authorities say the number of dead could increase when some tsunami-hit municipalities become able to determine the number of locals missing.

Search operations have been suspended within the 20-kilometer exclusion zone around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.