Strong Quake Rattles Japan's Osaka, Causes No Major Damage

Pauline Gross
June 18, 2018

A strong quake hit the Japanese city of Osaka during morning rush hour Monday, killing at least three people and injuring 214, Japan's government says.

Television images showed buildings swaying and burst pipes spewing water after the quake, which struck at the height of rush hour in the city of around two million people. The Japan Meteorology Agency put the magnitude at 5.9.

Local police said the child died in the city of Takatsuki, north of Osaka city, with media reporting she was trapped when a wall collapsed on her at school.

There were no immediate reports of major damage and no tsunami warning was issued after the powerful quake, which stranded commuters and left tens of thousands without power.

Hong Kong travel agents are reporting that all their customers in Osaka are safe after a deadly natural disaster struck Japan's second city on Monday during the height of rush hour.

The quake also hit several key industrial areas near Osaka with companies like Panasonic and Daihatsu saying they were suspending production at their affected sites. An 84-year-old man in nearby Ibaraki died after a bookshelf fell on top of him at home, according to city officials.

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At least 3 killed, 200 injured as strong quake hits Osaka
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters the government was "working united, with its first priority on saving people's lives". In 2016, there was a 6.2 tremor two days before a 7 magnitude quake which caused injuries and damage in southern Kumamoto.

Students sit on a playground after they were evacuated from school building after an natural disaster at Ikeda elementary school in Ikeda, Osaka prefecture, western Japan, Monday.

A lower 6 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 was registered in Kita Ward, Osaka as well as Takatsuki, Hirakata, Ibaraki and Minoo in the prefecture.

"It might be an aftershock resulting from distorted geological formations caused by the 1995 quake", Nishimura said, adding that another fault lying further north might also be behind the latest quake.

Dozens of domestic flights in and out of Osaka were grounded, while train and subway service in the Osaka area including the bullet train were suspended to check for damage. Auto makers Honda, Mitsubishi, Toyota and Daihatsu all stopped production at plants in the region.

Toshiyuki Matsumori, of the country's meteorological agency, said: "There are fears that the risk of house collapses and landslides has increased in the areas shaken strongly". Centered inland from the port city, the quake did not cause a tsunami.

Other reports by GizPress

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