Strong earthquake shakes Japan's Osaka in rush hour

Blanche Robertson
June 18, 2018

The magnitude 6.1 quake struck the city of Osaka and the surrounding area about 8 a.m. (2300 GMT Sunday). It toppled book shelves in homes and scattered goods on the floor of convenience stores and other shops. National broadcaster NHK reported a wall near a school swimming pool fell on the girl. Municipal authorities have confirmed three deaths in Osaka and a nearby city, a 9-year-old girl and two men in their 80s.

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.

Public broadcaster NHK said an 80-year-old man had been killed, also by a collapsing wall.

The epicenter of the natural disaster 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.

Despite its relatively low magnitude, the quake caused quite a shake, registering a lower six on the Japanese experiential scale of up to seven, meaning it is hard to stay standing. As the quake was centered inland, there was no fear of a tsunami.

While there were no reports of widespread damage, Japanese authorities are still assessing the impact, with PM Shinzo Abe emphasizing that the safety of residents is the government's top priority at the moment.

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Quake in Japan: Trains and subways in Japan's Osaka were halted after an natural disaster.

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. There are reports of scattered damage including broken glass and concrete.

Automakers Honda Motor Co., Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. unit Daihatsu all stopped production at plants in the region.

No irregularities were detected at the Mihama, Takahama and Ohi nuclear plants to the north of Osaka, Kansai Electric Power said.

Live footage showed burst water mains and a house on fire after the quake hit Osaka, which will host next year's Group of 20 summit, just before 8 a.m. (2300 GMT Sunday) as commuters were heading to work.

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