Insured losses from the devastating earthquake in Japan could reach $6.4 billion, according to an estimate from U.S.-based catastrophe modeling firm Karen Clark & Co.

Losses from residential properties account for more than two thirds of the total, according to KCC, as most commercial and industrial buildings in the affected cities are more seismic-resistant because of their predominantly steel construction.

The government is considering designating the powerful earthquake as a disaster of extreme severity, officials said Friday. Once designated, the central government's subsidy rate for restoration projects conducted by local governments will be raised.

The central government aims to make a decision on the designation as early as next week.

The quake struck Ishikawa Prefecture's Noto Peninsula on the afternoon of New Year's Day, flattening homes, triggering a tsunami and cutting off remote communities.

The death toll from the disaster hit 100 on Saturday, and the United States said Friday it is preparing military logistical support and aid.