3 dead, dozens injured by quake in Osaka in western Japan

Arturo Kim
June 18, 2018

Authorities in western Japan say the number of people treated for injuries suffered in a strong quake Monday morning now exceeds 210.

Passengers get off a train which suspended its service in Osaka, following an quake Monday, June 18, 2018.

Municipal authorities have confirmed three deaths in Osaka and a nearby city, a 9-year-old girl and two men in their 80s.

The nine-year-old girl who died was reportedly trapped beneath a collapsed wall in a swimming pool facility in the city of Takatsuki. Another man, 85, died from a falling bookshelf, while another 80-year-old passed away after being struck by part of a wall. At least 200 people have been injured, Kyodo News reported. A strong quake hit western Japan early June 18, but there were no immediate reports of major damage or risk of tsunami waves, officials said.

The 5.3 magnitude quake shook Osaka, on Japan's main Honshu Island, around 8 a.m. Monday local time (7 p.m. Sunday ET) according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).

The JMA put the preliminary magnitude at 5.9 at a depth of 10km - which it later reversed to magnitude 6.1 at a depth of 13km.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the government was assessing damage and that its top priority was the safety of residents. The quake also grounded flights in and out of Osaka, and paralyzed traffic and commuter trains most of the day. "Almost all of the dishes fell and shattered on the floor", said Kaori Iwakiri, a 50-year-old nurse in Moriguchi, just north of Osaka city. Television images showed passengers getting off trains and walking along the tracks between stations.

Reuters The Myotoku-ji temple was damaged by an quake on Monday in Ibaraki, Osaka prefecture.

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"Though most public transport was still paralysed, buses were working". The quake registered a lower six on the seven-point Japanese Shindo natural disaster scale, which means it is hard to stay standing.

"I could see the overhead electricity cables outside my house shake quite a lot".

She said the council had not received any requests for help from Hong Kong travellers regarding the natural disaster.

No abnormalities were reported at the Takahama, Mihama and Oi nuclear plants in central Japan, according to Kansai Electric.

Japan sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where numerous world's earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are recorded.

The quake struck at 7:58 a.m. local time, with an initial magnitude of 5.9 that was later revised upwards to 6.1.

It also sent three reactors into meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant, causing Japan's worst postwar disaster and the most serious nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.

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