2 feared dead, others hurt after quake hits Osaka, Japan

Geneva Stokes
June 18, 2018

A strong quake knocked over walls and set off scattered fires around metropolitan Osaka in western Japan on Monday morning, killing at least three people and injuring over 200, public broadcaster NHK reported.

Local authorities confirmed the number of deaths, a nine-year-old girl and two old men.

The quake collapsed walls and damaged roofs, with the nine-year-old girl killed after she was trapped by a damaged wall at a swimming complex north of Osaka.

An elderly man was also killed by a collapsing wall while another was trapped below a bookcase at home, national broadcaster NHK reported.

The magnitude 6.1 quake struck north of Osaka city Monday shortly after 8 a.m.

The weather agency warned that a strong quake with a similar size could jolt the Osaka region within a week, but dismissed concerns that Monday's temblor could trigger a megaquake that is projected to occur in the future off western Japan with massive tsunami. The structure was old and made of concrete blocks - a known risk in earthquakes.

The magnitude 6.1 natural disaster near the major city of Osaka killed three people, toppled concrete walls and store shelves and temporarily knocked out some power and water supplies.

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Although largely unaffected by the powerful quake, Chan said groups may need to adjust their itineraries. Osaka officials did not give details, but the injuries reported in Kyoto and three other neighboring prefectures were all minor. Passengers exited trains on the tracks between stations. "Almost all of the dishes fell and shattered on the floor", Kaori Iwakiri, a 50-year-old nurse in Moriguchi - just north of Osaka city - said.

Some 170,000 homes suffered temporary power outages, which were resolved within hours after the quake, according to Kansai Electric co.

The shinkansen bullet train service remains halted due to the quake as at 11.30am local time, while the Hanshin Expressway that connects Osaka to the neighbouring Kyoto and Kobe cities is also closed. It toppled book shelves in homes and scattered goods on shop floors.

Kate Kilpatrick, visiting Japan for the first time from the United States, said alarms went off nearly immediately in the Osaka hotel she was staying and a loudspeaker told guests to stay away from windows.

Smoke rises from a house blaze in Takatsuki, Osaka, following an natural disaster Monday, June 18, 2018. There was no damage to its Ohi and Takahama nuclear plants which are both located in the region, Kyodo News reported.

Multiple small aftershocks followed the quake, prompting warnings from an official of Japan's meteorological agency to remain on guard. He said his wife ducked under a table and elevators in his office building were out of operation.

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