Over 200 injured by quake in Osaka in western Japan

18 June, 2018, 16:36 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • Elderly man, 9-year-old girl killed as strong quake hits Japan

TOKYO-A strong natural disaster knocked over walls and set off scattered fires around metropolitan Osaka in western Japan on Monday, killing at least three people and injuring more than 300.

Water floods out from crack in the road, following an quake in Takatsuki, Osaka.

The victims comprised a nine-year-old girl and two men, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported. One was a 9-year-old girl who was crushed by a concrete wall at a local elementary school and the other was an elderly man in his 80s, according to the AP.

The Japan Meteorological Agency warned residents of Osaka and surrounding prefectures June 18 to brace for strong aftershocks over the coming week following the magnitude-6.1 quake that rocked the region around the morning commute. "There are fears that the risk of house collapses and landslides has increased in the areas shaken strongly", said Toshiyuki Matsumori of the country's meteorological agency. The strongest shaking was in an area north of Osaka city.

Pictures circulating on social media showed electronic train announcement boards that had collapsed onto the platform at one local station, and broken glass at a ticket counter.

And government spokesman Suga also cautioned "there is a possibility that strong aftershocks will happen". "I plan to take water to them now".

He said: "Large-scale quakes are likely to happen in the next two to three days". In 1995, a magnitude 6.9 natural disaster killed more than 6,000 people when it struck in neighboring Kobe.

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

The train and subway service in and around Osaka, including the bullet train to Tokyo, was suspended while checks were made.

A 30-year-old lawyer Jun Kawasaki said the quake reminded him of the Kobe quake 23 years ago, and started packing up immediately to run away.

Both Japan and Guatemala are situated on the Ring of Fire, an area of intense seismic and volcanic activity on both sides of the Pacific Ocean.

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

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.

The tsunami killed thousands of people in its path and sent three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima power plant into meltdown, causing the biggest nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.

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