Published: Mon, June 18, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Japan: Three dead as 6.1 magnitude natural disaster hits Osaka

Japan: Three dead as 6.1 magnitude natural disaster hits Osaka

At least three people were killed and over 50 others injured on Monday when a an quake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale jolted Japan's Osaka city.

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

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.

An 80-year-old man and a 9-year-old girl were killed, while several other people are in "cardiopulmonary arrest" after walls collapsed when a magnitude-6.1 natural disaster hit Osaka in western Japan on Monday, public broadcaster NHK earlier reported. Japanese media reported one of the likely victims is a 9-year-old girl found at a school.

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Osaka prefecture, which includes the city and surrounding areas, has a population of 8.8 million.

The quake disrupted some of Japan's usually meticulous train services from Osaka to other major cities including Tokyo and Nagoya. More than 170,000 households in Osaka and neighboring Hyogo prefecture lost power temporarily but it was restored within two hours, the utility said.

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. The strongest shaking was in an area north of Osaka city. The Meteorological Agency warned, however, that aftershocks could be felt over the next two to three days. "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.

Senior government officials are gathering for an emergency meeting at the Prime Minister's office, broadcaster NHK reported.

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Meanwhile, Japan's JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy Corp says it has shut all refining units at its 115,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) Osaka refinery after the quake.

"I was stunned. I couldn't do anything", he told AFP news agency from Itami, a city in eastern Osaka region.

A building burns after the quake in Osaka.

"We were sleeping and it woke us up abruptly", she said.

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