9-Year-Old Girl, Others Killed As Strong Earthquake Hits Osaka In Japan

A 9-year-old girl in Takatsuki, Osaka Prefecture, has been confirmed dead after being struck by a collapsing wall in a strong earthquake that hit Osaka in western Japan on Monday morning, June 18.

Similarly, a man in his 80s from Ibaraki, Osaka Prefecture, died after he was crushed by a bookshelf at his home, according to the Osaka Prefectural Government. Public broadcaster NHK also said an 80-year-old man in the city of Osaka died after being hit by a falling wall, while a number of other people were also feared dead.

The earthquake, measuring a magnitude 6.1 and a lower 6 on the Japanese seismic scale to 7, hit at 7:58 a.m. and occurred at a depth of about 10 km in the northern part of Osaka Prefecture, the Meteorological Agency said. No tsunami warning was issued.

According to local police and city authorities, at least eight (8) people were injured and multiple fire incidents have been reported in the city of Osaka.

Local police and rescuers say two people were trapped in an elevator at a train station in Yamatokoriyama, Nara Prefecture. More people were believed to be stuck in elevators in apartment buildings, they added.

Damage at a railway station in Kyoto after an earthquake on the morning of Jun 18, 2018. (Photo: Twitter/@chyadosensei).

A report by Japan Times says the weather agency issued a warning against landslides, adding that people should be cautious about possible aftershocks for a few days. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, however, told a news conference that so far there were no reports of major damage.

As of 9:30 a.m., all JR West trains, the Kintetsu Line and bullet trains were halted as well as some expressways. JR trains and Nankai trains from Osaka to Kansai international airport were also stopped.

Train lines between Tokyo and Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture, as well as between Nagoya and Maibara, Shiga Prefecture, which lies about 90 km northeast of Kyoto, had reopened, the report added.

According to the Japan Times, in Osaka Prefecture, power was restored after the quake left about 170,800 homes and buildings without power for several hours.

Osaka Gas said it stopped gas supply to 108,000 households. Kansai Electric Power Co., meanwhile, said its nuclear plants in Fukui Prefecture were operating normally.

No abnormalities were reported at the Takahama, Mihama and Oi nuclear plants in central Japan, according to Kansai Electric Power Co.
A number of companies in the region also halted production lines, including Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and Daihatsu Motor Co. factories in Osaka and Kyoto prefectures.

In the city of Osaka, Universal Studios Japan said it had suspended its 10 a.m. opening due to the quake, adding that it will decide on whether to resume operations after confirming safety. There were no reports of injuries among visitors, who were waiting for the theme park to open, but glass windows were shattered and a signboard at the ticket booth came off, a company official said.

The quake left many commuters stranded at stations or on streets during the morning rush hour after it disrupted shinkansen and other rail operations in western and central Japan, Japan Times reports.

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