Strong quake hits Osaka

Strong quake hits Osaka

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At least three people, including a child, were killed after a strong quake rocked the Japanese city of Osaka during the morning rush hour, government officials said.

The 6.1 magnitude quake did not trigger a tsunami warning and nuclear plants in the area are operating normally.

Television footage also showed a "shinkansen" bullet train stopped on the railway.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the quake had an epicenter in the northern region in the prefecture and occurred at a depth of about 10 kilometers.

An 80-year-old man and a young 9yo girl were killed in Japan, crushed by collapsing walls, public broadcaster NHK reported.

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One victim was a 9-year-old girl knocked down by a concrete wall at her elementary school as she walked by.

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

The quake disrupted some of Japan's usually meticulous train services from Osaka to other major cities including Tokyo and Nagoya.

The quake struck an important industrial area of central Japan.

The quake, which was recorded at a depth of 13km, left more than 170,000 households without power in Osaka prefecture and neighbouring Hyogo prefecture, where an natural disaster killed more than 6,400 people in the city of Kobe in January 1995.

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A lower 6 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 was registered in Kita Ward, Osaka as well as Takatsuki, Hirakata, Ibaraki and Minoo in the prefecture.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters the government was "working united, with its first priority on saving people's lives".

Kate Kilpatrick, visiting Japan for the first time from the United States, said alarms went off nearly immediately in the Osaka hotel she was staying and a loudspeaker told guests to stay away from windows. An 84-year-old man in nearby Ibaraki died after a bookshelf fell on top of him at home, according to city officials. Production at the Honda, Mitsubishi and Toyota vehicle plants was stopped when the quake hit.

"It was not as bad as the Kobe quake", he told the Associated Press from Osaka.

Injured in Osaka, Japan quake
The train and subway service in and around Osaka, including the bullet train to Tokyo , was suspended while checks were made. More than 170,000 homes were without power as of 8:20 a.m., regional utility Kansai Electric Power Co. said.

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