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

Frederick Owens
June 18, 2018

The epicenter of the quake was just north of Osaka city, said the Japan Meteorological Agency, which originally put the magnitude at 5.9 but later raised it to 6.1.

Japanese media reported one of the quake's victims is a 9-year-old girl found at a school in Takatsuki City.

There were no immediate reports of major damage and no tsunami warning was issued after the powerful quake, which stranded commuters and left tens of thousands without power.

"I was very scared", Katsufumi Abe, who was at Osaka's main railway station when the quake struck, told Kyodo news. NHK said that the elderly man and the girl had been killed by collapsing walls.

The Japanese government had not received reports of major damage as of 8:30 a.m., spokesman Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

More than 200 people were also injured in the 5.3-magnitude quake, which according to the United States Geological Survey, struck at a depth of 15.4km.

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

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In the larger Osaka Prefecture 170,800 homes and buildings were without power for several hours and water and gas were also off. Police said people were believed to be trapped in dozens of elevators.

Students sit on a playground after they were evacuated from school building after an quake at Ikeda elementary school in Ikeda, Osaka prefecture, western Japan, Monday.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority said it had detected no problems at any of the region's atomic power plants.

Several rail services were suspended, including the bullet train.

Monday's natural disaster was of a relatively low magnitude, but registered up to a lower-6 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 0 to 7.

The strongest shaking was north of Osaka, the agency said. An 84-year-old man in nearby Ibaraki died after a bookshelf fell on top of him at home, according to city officials.

The auto manufacturer Daihatsu said it had suspended operations at its plants in Osaka and nearby Kyoto, while the consumer electronics firm Sharp said its factories were operating normally. The Japan Meteorology Agency put the magnitude at 5.9 and JMA Seismic Intensity at 5.3.

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