Japan quake: Child and two men dead and hundreds injured

Glen Norman
June 18, 2018

"The government is working as one to save lives after the natural disaster that hit the region around Osaka city".

The jolts shattered windows, knocked over walls, and resulted in several residential building fires. In 2016, there was a 6.2 tremor two days before a 7 magnitude quake which caused injuries and damage in southern Kumamoto. Train service was suspended across a wide area during the morning commute.

By Monday evening, bullet trains and some local trains had resumed operation, with stations swollen with commuters trying to get home, many of them waiting in long lines.

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

A crack is filled with water on a road after water pipes were broken following an earthquake in Takatsuki city Osaka western Japan Monday

Japan's Meteorological Agency reported that the quake, . with an initial magnitude of 5-point-9, later revised up to 6-point-1, struck inland at a depth of 10 kilometers. The strongest shaking was north of Osaka, but the quake rattled large parts of western Japan, including Kyoto, the agency said.

Two elderly men and one 9-year-old girl died after being hit by collapsing walls and furniture, according to the Japan Times.

The quake hit western Japan early Monday, but there were no immediate reports of major damage or risk of tsunami waves, officials said.

The quake disrupted some of Japan's usually meticulous train services from Osaka to other major cities including Tokyo and Nagoya.

There is no danger of a tsunami, due to the natural disaster being centred inland.

Pictures circulating on social media showed electronic train announcement boards that had collapsed onto the platform at one local station, and broken glass at a ticket counter.

In 2016, the magnitude 7 quake that caused significant damage and multiple casualties in southern Kumamoto was preceded two days earlier by a magnitude 6.2 temblor. "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.

The area north of Osaka was the hardest hit, the agency said.

Automakers Honda Motor Co., Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. unit Daihatsu all stopped production at plants in the region.

Both Japan and Guatemala are situated on the Ring of Fire, an area of intense seismic and volcanic activity on both sides of the Pacific Ocean.

The latest disaster has reminded many in Japan of the magnitude 7.3 Hanshin-Kobe quake that killed more than 6,000 people in the same region in 1995.

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