A car perched precariously on the roof of a small hut. Streets packed curb to rooftop with debris. An unnamed victim's hand, reaching out from the mud.

These are but a few of the harrowing pictures now streaming out of Japan some four days after the worst earthquake that nation has seen in recorded history. The missing, when they turn up, are overwhelming found dead, each a victim of fire or flood or collapsing earth. In one small northeastern town called Minami Sanriku, 9,500 people—roughly half the town—are missing.

The sad thing is the devastation does not appear to be letting up any time soon. The northern nuclear plants are still on high alert; a 7.5 magnitude aftershock is predicted in the next 72 hours; and I just read word of an eruption at a once dormant volcano. There's no word on any connection between the eruption and the earthquake, but does it really matter? Japan is besieged today on all sides by a merciless mother nature. The "why's" can wait for later—there is work, donation and relief to be done.

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Last Updated: Tuesday, March 29th, 2011, 11:45 AM EST.

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Pictured above: A boy looks at a coffin containing a victim of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami at a mass grave site in Yamamoto, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Tuesday, March 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Electricians work to restore electricity on March 28, 2011 in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. (Photo by Athit Perawongmetha/Getty Images)

Tsunami-damaged homes sit in the reflections of flood waters in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan, Monday, March 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

A floating crane is used to remove debris from the port at Oshima island in northeastern Japan Monday, March 28, 2011. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

Evacuees from Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, where the troubled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant is located, take a rest at an evacuation center in Saitama, near Tokyo, Monday, March 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Members of the Japanese Self-Defence Force search for bodies in the debris-filled waters around Sendai in Miyagi prefecture on March 28, 2011 (ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

A worker with the Japanese Red Cross takes care of a patient coming from the earthquake shelters, at the Ishinomaki hospital March 28, 2011 in Ishinomaki, Japan. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

Two of the Fukushima Fifty pour over plans as they try to work out how to fix the stricken plant. (AP)

A worker looks at gauges in the control room for Unit 1 and Unit 2 at the plant. (AP)

Workers collect data in the control room for Unit 1 and Unit 2. They must wear rubber suits to prevent as much radiation from entering their bodies as possible. (AP)

A collapsed eave lies outside the security gate for Unit 1 and Unit 2. Much of the plant was destroyed by the tsunami. (AP)

Workers pour water onto Fukushima reactor 4. (AFP)

MARCH 22: A man helps to clean up a Saki liquor store March 22, 2011 in Kesennuma, Japan. (Photo by Paula Bronstein /Getty Images)

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force personnel salute coffins of victims of the March 11 Japan earthquake and tsunami during a burial ceremony at a cemetary on March 22, 2011 in Higashimatsushima, Miyagi, Japan. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)

Displaced earthquake victims pack a evacuation center March 22, 2011 in Kesennuma, Japan. (Photo by Paula Bronstein /Getty Images)

Cars are submerged in a canal on March 21, 2011 in Kesennuma, Japan. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

A woman looks for her home amongst the debris on March 22, 2011 in Iwate Prefecture, Japan. (Photo by XINHUA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Workers prepare for Tuesday's mass burial under the earth for the March 11 earthquake and tsunami victims in Higashimatsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Monday, March 21, 2011. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Masataka Morita)

Youngsters look out at tsunami damage from a hill where there is a shelter set up in a school in Minamisanriku, Japan, Monday, March 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

A woman, evacuated from Naraha Town, inside the 20km zone from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, receives the radiation exposure check by the Ibaraki Prefecture Government officers at Hitachi Healthcare Center. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)

Japanese police officers walk past a tsunami damaged hospital in Minamisanriku, Japan, Monday, March 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

An officer in the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force hands personal belongings to a woman as they search for the remains of a fellow family member in their home. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

Apprentice geisha, called maiko, collect donations for the March 11 earthquake and tsunami victims in Kyoto, western Japan, Monday, March 21, 2011. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Kota Kawasaki)

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force members carry boxes containing drinking water to the village office in Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, Monday, March 21, 2011. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Koichi Nakamura)

Evacuees use temporary public telephones set up in Yamada, Iwate prefecture. (JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)

A Chinese search and rescue team observes a moment of silence at the devastated city of Ofunato, northeastern Japan. (AP Photo/Yomiuri Shimbun, Masamichi Genko)

Survivors huddle around the open fire to keep warm at a shelter in Minamisanriku town, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Friday. (AP Photo/Yomiuri Shimbun, Ichiro Ohara)

The top part of the badly damaged No. 4 unit of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okumamachi (via Mirror, AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co. via Kyodo News)

Japan's Self-Defense Forces's helicopter scoops water off Japan's northeast coast on its way to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okumamachi. (AP Photo/Yomiuri Shimbun, Kenji Shimizu)

In this photo taken Wednesday, March 16, 2011 and released by Tokyo Electric Power Co. via Kyodo News, smoke billows from wrecked Unit 3 at Japan's crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okumamachi, Fukushima Prefecture. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co. via Kyodo News)

In this photo taken Wednesday, March 16, 2011 and released by Tokyo Electric Power Co. via Kyodo News Friday, smoke billows from wrecked unit 3 at Japan's crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okumamachi, Fukushima Prefecture. Emergency crews worked to reconnect electricity to cooling systems and spray more water on overheating nuclear fuel at the tsunami-ravaged facility Friday. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co. via Kyodo News)

This combination of photos provided by GeoEye shows adjacent sections of Natori, Japan on April 3, 2010, left, and March 12, 2011, right, after an 8.9-magnitude earthquake triggered a devastating tsunami in the region. (AP Photo/GeoEye)

Building sits destroyed March 17, 2011 in Minamisanriku, Japan. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

Traders work under a monitor displaying the stock index and foreign exchange at Ueda Harlow on March 17, 2011 in Tokyo, Japan. (The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images)

Japanese people fill an evacuation center trying to keep warm as winter weather made a miserable situation worse on March 17, 2011 in Minamisanriku, Japan. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

People warm themselves next to a brazier at Ando Elementary School on March 17, 2011 in Otsuchi, Iwate, Japan. (The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images)

Residents look through messages posted on the missing boards at the Kensennuma city hall on March 17, 2011 in Kensennuma, Japan (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

People walk along with cars on an earthquake and tsunami-hit area in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture , northeastern Japan, Thursday, March 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

Evacuees keep them warm with a stove as solar power battery illuminates at an evacuation shelter in Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Thursday, March 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

A photo of a child lies amongst debris of a destroyed house where members of a British search and rescue team found and removed the body of an unidentified woman in the aftermath of Friday's tsunami that struck Kamaishi, Japan, Thursday, March 17, 2011.

Survivors of Friday's earthquake and tsunami huddle around the open fire to keep warm out of doors in Minamisanriku town, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan, Thursday, March 17, 2011. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Hirokazu Ono)

Snow covers an earthquake-triggered tsunami hit area in Minamisanriku town, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan, Thursday, March 17, 2011.

A woman carrying a child on her back walks through a tunnel in earthquake and tsunami-hit Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan, Thursday, March 17, 2011. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Shuhei Yokoyama)

Members of a British search and rescue team rest and eat their ration packs for lunch after finishing clearing an area in the aftermath of Friday's tsunami that struck Kamaishi, Japan, Thursday, March 17, 2011.

Self-Defense Force members put a tarp over bodies in Minamisanriku, northern Japan. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Tsuyoshi Matsumoto)

Evacuees carry bowls of pork soup from a soup kitchen back to their makeshift shelter in Minamisanriku, northern Japan. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Tsuyoshi Matsumoto)

A red flag indicating bodies are laid flaps in the wind at a devastated area in Rikuzentakata, northern Japan (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Osamu Kanazawa)

A youngster rests in a school gymnasium being used as a center for people to stay at whose homes were damaged by the tsunami in Ofunato, Japan (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Members of a British search and rescue team begin their search for trapped people as snow falls in Kamaishi, Japan (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Local people watch as a British search and rescue team search for trapped people in tsunami damaged homes as snow falls in Kamaishi, Japan (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

A girl warms herself at a shelter for the March 11 quake-triggered tsunami survivors in Onagawacho, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

Close-up picture of damaged No. 4 reactor at the Fukushima nuclear plant - Yomiuiri (via @BreakingNews)

Japan's quake and tsunami sparked a major emergency at one of the country's nuclear power stations, amid meltdown fears. (CNN)

Fire department officials wait for arriving residents evacuated from areas surrounding the Fukushima nuclear facilities damaged in Friday's massive earthquake to check them for radiation exposure. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

People receive the radiation exposure check after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. (The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images)

Futaba Kosei Hospital patients are assisted by Japan Self Defense Force personnel as they disembark from a helicopter in the compound of Fukushima Gender Equality Centre in Nihonmatsu, Fukushima. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Daisuke Tomita)

Evacuees watch news on a troubled nuclear power plant on television at a makeshift shelter in Fukushima, northern Japan, Tuesday, March 15, 2011. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Koichi Nakamura)

Employees of a company react at the place where their company was used to be located in Minamisanriku, Miyagi. Their colleagues and the company's president are still missing. (AP Photo/Yomiuri Shimbun, Tsuyoshi Matsumoto)

Members of a British search and rescue team search a smoldering industrial facility damaged by Friday's earthquake and tsunami in Ofunato, Japan. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Evacuees rest at a shelter in Yamada, Iwate, northern Japan Tuesday morning. (AP Photo/Yomiuri Shimbun, Takashi Ozaki)

Officials wearing clothing to protect against radiation work in a center to scan residents who have been within 20 kilometers of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant damaged by Friday's earthquake. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

People mob to receive emergency clothing aid at a makeshift shelter in Fukushima, northern Japan. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Shuhei Yokoyama)

In this image provided by the International Federation of Red Cross Japan, Hiromi Kinno, a nurse living in Miyako, looks at the many scribbled messages pinned on a notice board in a gymnasium March 15, 2011 in Otsuchi, Japan. Hiromi came to look for her parents and young nephews who are missing. (Photo by Toshirharu Kato/Japanese Red Cross/IFRC via Getty Images)

A young girl looks out from a bus window as people rush to get out of the city in Yamagata on March 15, 2011. (MIKE CLARKE/AFP/Getty Images)

Futaba Kosei Hospital patients who might have been exposed to radiation are carried into the compound of Fukushima Gender Equality Centre in Nihonmatsu, Fukushima. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Daisuke Tomita)

Evacuees crowd a makeshift shelter in Fukushima, northern Japan, Tuesday, March 15, 2011. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Koichi Nakamura)

A boat lies in a street after being washed inshore by the recent tsunami in Hishonomaki, Miyagi prefecture on March 15, 2011. Japan's government on March 15 urged people against panic-buying of food and supplies, as the country grapples with an earthquake and tsunami and resulting nuclear crisis. (PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Soldiers carry the body of a victim as others prepare to retrieve more in Kesennuma City. (Reuters/Adrees Latif)

Cars balance amongst tsunami wrought devastation in Natori City. (MIKE CLARKE/AFP/Getty Images)

A man comforts a woman as she cries in front of her damaged home in the town of Watari. (JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)

A religious statue stands amongst debris in a tsunami devastated area close to the sea front, in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture. (TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

A soldier carries an elderly man on his back to a shelter in Natori City. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Local residents and town staff carry out relief supplies effects from a helicopter in the town of Onagawa. (JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)

The rubble caused by an earthquake and tsunami fill the landscape in Yamada, Iwate Prefecture, Japan. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers urge an elderly woman to move to higher ground during a tsunami warning Monday, March 14, 2011, in the harbor of Soma City. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

A Japanese wedding portrait lays in the rubble in the leveled city of Minamisanriku, in northeastern Japan. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

A man feeds his child a lunch at a makeshift shelter at Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture, northern Japan. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

A man shops in a convenience store where shelves on food aisles are left empty in Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture, northern Japan, Tuesday, March 15, 2011, four days after a powerful earthquake-triggered tsunami hit Japan's east coast. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

A mother talking to her daughter, who's been isolated because of radiation exposure (Reuters, Yuriko Nakao)

A baby being checked for radiation exposure in Fukushima prefecture (European Pressphoto Agency, Asahi Shimbun)

Amazing and commendable that Japan's disaster victims are still lining up to buy groceries. (European Pressphoto Agency, Hannibal Hanschke)

Food, in Japanese. You can see a faded SOS as well. (AP, The Yomiuri Shimbun, Motoki Nakashima)

A dead woman under a blanket near her home in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture (AP, David Guttenfelder)

A ship sits grounded in Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture on March 12, 2011. (REUTERS/YOMIURI)

A small car sits on a destroyed building within a devastated neighborhood in Sendai, Japan, on Sunday, March 13, 2011 (AP, David Guttenfelder)

Hitachi City: Cars that were first swept together into a smashed group then caught fire (Reuters, Yomiuri)

An abandoned car, half submerged on what was one a crossroad in Sendai (Reuters, Jo Yong-Hak)

Shipping containers were tossed around like a child's building blocks in Sendai (AP, Itsuo Inouye)

A victim's hand, seen in Rikuzentakata (Reuters, Toru Hanal)

The tsuami is captured in this image as it sweeps over Miyako City. This photo was taken March 11 (AP, Mainichi Shimbun)

Boats became cars and litter the streets and lots of Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture (AP, The Yomiuri Shimbum, Miho Iketani) [In Focus]