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

Charlene Craig
June 18, 2018

Residents in western Japan were cleaning up debris Monday after a powerful natural disaster hit the area around Osaka, the country's second-largest city of commerce, killing three people and injuring hundreds while knocking over walls and setting off fires.

The Osaka prefectural government reported two deaths, and an Ibaraki city official confirmed a third, according to The Associated Press, ABC News and other news outlets.

Local police said the child died in the city of Takatsuki, north of Osaka city, with media reporting she was trapped when a wall collapsed on her at school.

As well as killing at least three people and injuring hundreds, a powerful quake in the Osaka region has briefly brought chaos to local transportation systems and caused substantial damage to housing and infrastructure.

One victim was a 9-year-old girl knocked down by a concrete wall at her elementary school as she walked by.

Transport was disrupted and trains stopped amid power outages during the morning commute as the natural disaster struck at 8.a.m. local time (23.00 Sunday, UTC) at a depth of about 13 kilometers (8.1 miles).

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The strongest shaking was north of Osaka, the agency said.

Gas has been cut off to more than 100,000 households in Osaka, while some 170,000 houses in Osaka and neighbouring Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures are left without power.

Passengers from a train walk along railroad tracks following an quake in Osaka on June 18, 2018. Monday's quake also followed a series of smaller quakes near Tokyo in recent weeks. "I plan to take water to them now".

"Large-scale quakes are likely to happen in the next two to three days", he told reporters.

"I was anxious about my son as he had just left for his high school".

Production at the Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and Daihatsu Motor Co. factories in Osaka and Kyoto prefectures was also halted as a result of the quake.

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Both the high-speed Shinkansen and local trains suspended operations during the morning commuting hours.

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

Japan's northern prefectures are still recovering from the magnitude 9.0 quake and tsunami in 2011 that killed more than 18,000.

Some 80 flights were cancelled, according to NHK, and TV footage showed huge queues of travellers, including many foreign tourists, waiting for taxis as local train services remained suspended in large parts of the region.

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

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