At least 3 dead, hundreds injured after 6.1 magnitude natural disaster strikes Japan

Marsha Scott
June 19, 2018

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the government was assessing damage and that its top priority was the safety of residents. About 150 people were injured, the broadcaster NHK said, lowering an earlier toll after a revision by city officials.

Quakes are common in Japan, which is part of the "Ring of Fire" that comes from the South Pacific islands through Indonesia and Japan.

A strong natural disaster shook the city of Osaka in western Japan on Monday morning, causing scattered damage including broken glass and partial building collapses.

On March 11, 2011, a devastating magnitude 9.0 quake struck under the Pacific Ocean, and the resulting tsunami caused widespread damage and claimed thousands of lives. A magnitude 4.6 quake struck Gunma prefecture - north of Tokyo - on Sunday, while a magnitude 4.5 tremor hit Chiba - east of Tokyo - on Saturday.

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.

People wait for train service to resume following an natural disaster in Osaka, Monday, June 16, 2018. Osaka-based Panasonic said it was halting production at two of its plants - one that produces lighting devices and another for projectors.

Sharp Corp said its directly owned plants in the area were operating as usual, but a joint venture plant with parent Hon Hai Precision Industry said it had halted operations for safety checks.

A 9-year-old girl and two men in their 80s are the first confirmed fatalities, according to the Associated Press. Another man in his 80s was killed when a bookcase fell on him.

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Toshiyuki Matsumori, a spokesman for Japan's meteorological agency, said: "There are fears that the risk of house collapses and landslides has increased in the areas shaken strongly".

"We were sleeping and it woke us up abruptly", said Kate Kilpatrick, a 19-year-old American who was staying in a hotel at the time of the quake, told Reuters.

"It was only slight at first, then after a few seconds everything shifted from side to side and I realised I was experiencing an quake".

"The psychological impact is something I'm slightly anxious about at this point", Nishino said before Monday afternoon's training session.

Nishino said he and players found out about the natural disaster shortly after it happened because an alarm went off at the team hotel in Saransk and blared for about 15 minutes around the same time as the quake struck.

It was the first quake with an intensity of lower 6 or stronger to hit Osaka Prefecture since the agency started quake observations in 1923. Osaka officials did not give details, but the injuries reported in Kyoto and three other neighboring prefectures were all minor. Dozens of flights in and out of Osaka were grounded and train service was suspended across a wide area. Television images showed passengers getting off trains onto the tracks between stations.

A M5.9 quake at a shallow depth of 10km in northern Osaka Pref. brought max shindo 6- shaking to the area at 7:58 this morning.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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