Strong quake strikes Japanese city

3 dead, more than 200 injured after M6.1 quake hits northern Osaka region

3 dead, more than 200 injured after M6.1 quake hits northern Osaka region

A strong magnitude 6.1 quake struck the city of Osaka and the surrounding area on Monday morning.

A strong quake knocked over walls and set off scattered fires around the city of Osaka Monday morning. Many homes and buildings, including a major hospital, were temporarily without power, though electricity was restored at most places by midafternoon.

Among the casualties was a nine-year-old girl who died in the city of Takatsuki north of Osaka, reportedly trapped by a collapsed wall following the 5.3-magnitude quake.

The other man, 84, was killed by a falling bookshelf in his home in Ibraki.

The Osaka prefectural government's disaster management department confirmed the girl's death and the death of an older man.

The magnitude 6.1 quake struck shortly after 8am north of Osaka, at a depth of about eight miles, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. At 13 kilometers (8.1 miles) it was relatively shallow, and caused heavy shaking that registered a lower 6 on the Japanese scale of 7.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe instructed the government agencies to "swiftly collect information on damage, make utmost efforts in rescuing and saving lives".

Market reaction to the event was largely muted, with shares in some companies located in the region including Osaka Gas dropping, while Sumitomo Osaka Cement Co. and electrical contractor Kinden Corp. gained as the extent of damage from the quake remained unclear.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. It rated the quake at "6 Lower" on its JMA Seismic Intensity scale, meaning the shaking would have been severe enough to make it hard to remain standing.

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"There are fears that the risk of house collapses and landslides has increased in the areas shaken strongly", said Toshiyuki Matsumori, in charge of monitoring quakes at the agency.

Damage inside a home in Osaka, Japan, after the natural disaster struck.

Pictures on Twitter showed fallen signs at a train station.

The Japan Meteorological Agency says a quake with preliminary magnitude of 5.9 struck Monday around 8 a.m. Two men in their 80s also died, news reports said.

"I saw the ceiling and the floor undulating, and I could barely stand. I have experienced a few minor quakes before in Osaka, but this was the first time I felt one as big as this", he said, adding that he usually visits Osaka every six months or so.

Kansai Electric Power said no irregularities had been detected at three nuclear plants in the region.

It has a population of 2.7 million and is Japan's second-largest city.

NHK and TV Asahi had both initially reported "several" deaths.

No abnormalities have been reported at 15 nuclear reactors in Fukui Prefecture.

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