Shallow natural disaster kills three in Japan, including nine-year-old girl

Glen Norman
June 18, 2018

In Osaka Prefecture, about 170,000 homes and buildings were without power as of 8:30 a.m.

A strong quake hit Osaka city on Monday morning, rattling one of Japan's industrial heartlands, but appearing to spare the region of any major damage.

"We may have to consider the possibility of even greater earthquakes following, like in the case of quakes in Kumamoto (in 2016)", he said, warning of serious damage in areas with large populations. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said authorities were assessing damage and that their top priority was the safety of residents.

The Osaka prefectural government reported two deaths, and an Ibaraki city official confirmed a third.

An elevator operator said there were at least 70 cases of people being temporarily trapped inside elevators in Osaka Prefecture and nearby areas, while the police said a water pipe on a road in Takatsuki burst and flooded the area.

All trains and subways across Osaka city were halted, and the bullet train that travels through the region was halted as far as Fukuoka in southern Japan.

The Indonesian Consulate General (KJRI) in Osaka has opened an emergency hotline following a 6.1 Richer scale quake striking the prefecture on Monday morning.

The 5.3-magnitude quake struck at a depth of 15.4km at 7.58 am (6.58am Singapore time) near Osaka, according to the United States Geological Survey.

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

Kepco said its Fukui nuclear plants were operating normally. At 13 kilometers (8.1 miles) it was relatively shallow, and caused heavy shaking that registered a lower 6 on the Japanese scale of 7.

"It was not as bad as the Kobe quake", he told the Associated Press from Osaka.

Honda Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors said they were resuming operations after temporary suspensions and safety checks.

The natural disaster struck Osaka, one of Japan's main manufacturing heartlands.

Kansai Electric Power said no irregularities had been detected at the Mihama, Takahama and Ohi nuclear plants after the quake. 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.

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