3 confirmed dead in western Japan natural disaster, at least 90 injured

18 June, 2018, 15:29 | Author: Jason Torres
  • A shop employee clears broken bottles following an earthquake near Osaka western Japan

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

The epicenter of the natural disaster was in the northern part of the prefecture, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

The quake hit at 7:58 a.m. and initially measured a magnitude of 5.9 but was later raised to 6.1, according to Japan's Meteorological Agency. Scattered fires broke out in buildings in the heavily urbanised area, and while authorities reported no damage to railways or major roads, parts of the network had been closed as a precaution.

Train and subway service including the bullet train have been suspended to check for damage to equipment.

Footage on national broadcaster NHK showed flooding from burst underground water pipes, train passengers forced to exit along train lines, and schoolchildren gathering outside in precautionary evacuations.

Train guide electric boards tilt following an quake at Ibaraki-shi Station in Ibaraki City, north of Osaka prefecture on June 18, 2018.

This is a developing story.

Two elderly men and a 9-year-old girl were died from collapsing walls and furniture.

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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.

Multiple small aftershocks followed, and an official from Japan's meteorological agency warned residents to remain on guard. Most trains in the area have been stopped for the morning.

The area north of Osaka was the hardest hit, the agency said. A worker there said he felt a strong jolt from below the ground at the time of the quake.

Police check a collapsed road following an quake in Takatsuki, Osaka prefecture on Monday. Auto makers Honda, Mitsubishi, Toyota and Daihatsu all stopped production at plants in the region.

Honda Motor Co said production in Suzuka, was halted for checks but no problems were found and operations were back to normal.

The natural disaster struck at 7:58 a.m. and registered lower 6 in northern Osaka Prefecture on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7, making it the strongest to hit the prefecture since record keeping started in 1923, officials said.

Japan sits on the so-called Ring of Fire, one of the most active seismic zones in the world, and experiences earthquakes frequently, which is why most infrastructure is specially created to withstand earthquakes.

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