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Crematoriums overwhelmed as Japan struggles with disaster dead

Paula Bronstein / Getty Images

Keiko Miura and her brother Masahiko Oyama grieve over the coffin of their mother Katsuko Oyama killed by the tsunami during a cremation March 24, 2011 in Minamisanriku , Japan. The family lost three family members from the earthquake and tsunami. Under Japanese Buddhist practice a cremation is the expected traditional way of dealing with the dead but now with the death toll so high crematoriums are overwhelmed and there is a shortage of fuel to burn them. Local municipalities are forced to dig mass graves as a temporary solution.

Paula Bronstein / Getty Images

Police and family members carry the coffin of Masaichi Oyama, who was killed by the tsunami, during a cremation ceremony March 24, 2011 in Kurihara , Japan.

Paula Bronstein / Getty Images

A crematorium worker gets ready to close the door with the coffin of Katsuko Oyama, who was, killed by the tsunami into the oven during a cremation March 24, 2011 in Kurihara , Japan.

Paula Bronstein / Getty Images

Family members and relatives transfer the bones of Masaichi Oyama, who was killed by the tsunami, by chopsticks into an urn the during a cremation ceremony March 24, 2011 in Kurihara , Japan. The family lost three family members from the earthquake and tsunami. Under Japanese Buddhist practice, a cremation is the expected traditional way of dealing with the dead, but now with the death toll so high, crematoriums are overwhelmed and there is a shortage of fuel to burn them. Local municipalities are forced to dig mass graves as a temporary solution.

 

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