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At least 138 patients at major hospitals in Iwate and Miyagi prefectures who died in the aftermath of the 2011 quake and tsunami could have been saved under normal medical conditions, health ministry researchers have said.

The team attributed the deaths of 13 percent of the 1,042 patients who died in the 20 days following the disaster to power outages and shortages of materials such as drugs and clean water. The deaths are considered preventable because had there been electricity equipment such as respirators would have worked, and with suitable materials physicians would have been able to carry out surgery, the team said.

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