Strong natural disaster strikes Japanese city

Strong Quake Rattles Japan's Osaka, Causes No Major Damage

A 9-year-old girl and two men in their 80s have been killed by a strong quake in the western Japan metropolis of Osaka.

A strong quake knocked over walls and set off scattered fires around the city of Osaka in western Japan on Monday morning, and at least two people were feared dead.

Television images showed goods scattered on the floor of shops and building debris in streets.

Three people were confirmed dead, including a nine-year-old girl, who was reported to have died after a school wall fell on her.

Disaster Management Minister Hachiro Okonogi says there are reports of people being buried under collapsed buildings.

Japanese authorities don't confirm death until after an examination at a hospital.

The epicenter of the quake 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.

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The Japanese meteorological agency put the magnitude at 5.9, and the epicentre at a depth of 10km.

Train guide electric boards tilt following an natural disaster at Ibaraki-shi Station in Ibaraki City, north of Osaka prefecture on June 18, 2018.

Japan Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters at a hastily convened press conference that there were no immediate reports of heavy damage, and that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had ordered relevant ministries to gather information on the quake.

The tremor caused a blackout for thousands of houses and suspended train operations during the morning commuting hours.

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 were no reports of abnormalities at its nuclear plants in the region. Power was quickly restored to more than 170,000 homes that had earlier been cut off, regional utility Kansai Electric Power Co. said.

The Kansai region is one of Japan's main manufacturing heartlands, home to companies including Panasonic Corp., Nintendo Co. and Keyence Corp, and a major quake has always been feared in the area.

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