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

Three Dead, Plants And Trains Halted As Earthquake Rattles Japan's Osaka

Three Dead, Plants And Trains Halted As Earthquake Rattles Japan's Osaka

Gas supply to 108,000 households was cut off by Osaka Gas following the quake which also brought a halt to train traffic in the area, before operations slowly resumed hours later.

The JMA also said it is unlikely that another fault zone responsible for the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake that leveled the port city of Kobe had any influence on the June 18 quake based on the distance between the two points. One of the men died after being buried under a collapsed building.

A strong natural disaster with a magnitude of 6.1 hit Osaka and other parts of western Japan on Monday morning, leaving at least three people dead and more than 200 injured, disrupting rush-hour traffic and cutting off power, water and gas in the area.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters the government was "working united, with its first priority on saving people's lives".

Live footage showed burst water mains and a house on fire after the quake hit Osaka, which will host next year's Group of 20 summit, just before 8 a.m. (2300 GMT Sunday) as commuters were heading to work. Japanese authorities don't confirm death until after an examination at a hospital.

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The natural disaster struck with a magnitude of 5.9 at 7:58 a.m. local time, at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles). The inland quake poses no tsunami risk.

Japan Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters at a hastily convened press conference that there were no immediate reports of heavy damage, and that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had ordered relevant ministries to gather information on the quake.

A number of train services were suspended, including the "shinkansen" bullet train. Bloomberg reported plants across the area were halted as firms assessed the damage.

No irregularities were detected at the Mihama, Takahama and Ohi nuclear plants to the north of Osaka, Kansai Electric Power said. Daihatsu Motor Co, a unit of Toyota Motor Corp, stopped its factories in Osaka and Kyoto while it checked for damage.

Japanese Self-Defense Force fighter jets and helicopters are heading to the area to gather information.

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