Published: Mon, June 18, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

3 confirmed dead in powerful Osaka quake

3 confirmed dead in powerful Osaka quake

A magnitude 6.1 quake shook Osaka, Japan's second-biggest metropolis, early on Monday morning, killing three people, halting factory lines in a key industrial area and bursting water mains, government officials and broadcaster NHK said.

A 9-year-old girl and a man in his 80s died when they were struck by collapsing walls after the magnitude-6.1 quake struck just before 8am local time, local media said.

The Japan Meteorological Agency originally put the quake's magnitude at 5.9 but later raised it to 6.1.

A strong natural disaster has shaken the city of Osaka in western Japan. The quake knocked over walls, scattered goods on the floor of shops and set off scattered fires around Osaka.

Television footage also showed a "shinkansen" bullet train stopped on the railway.

Tractor maker Kubota Corp. said it halted two plants in the area, while air conditioner maker Daikin Industries Ltd suspended operations at two plants, one of which resumed by noon.

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A 9-year-old girl died at Juei Elementary School in Takatasuki, Osaka Prefecture, after the wall of a swimming pool complex collapsed, according to the Osaka prefectural police and other sources. No injuries have been reported.

Live TV coverage of the immediate aftermath showed ruptured underground pipes spewing water on to the street, while firefighters were seen tackling a blaze at a home on the city's northern outskirts.

Many homes and buildings, including a major hospital, were temporarily without power, though electricity was restored at most places by midafternoon.

Monday's quake was of a relatively low magnitude, but registered up to a lower-6 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 0 to 7.

The inland quake did not trigger a tsunami and no nuclear power plants in the vicinity reported abnormalities, but dozens of fires were reported in Osaka, Hyogo, Kyoto and Mie prefectures, according to local authorities.

JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. said a refinery in Osaka Prefecture operated by one of its subsidiaries suspended production and shipments. Meteorological agency officials warned of strong aftershocks in the area, urging residents to stay away from damaged structures. Monday's quake also followed a series of smaller quakes near Tokyo in recent weeks. "The government is working as one to save lives after the natural disaster that hit the region around Osaka city". He said his wife ducked under a table and elevators in his office building were out of operation.

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