Quake strikes Osaka area, killing three and shutting factories

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

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

"We were sleeping and it woke us up abruptly", said Kate Kilpatrick, 19, an American who was staying in a hotel in Osaka when the quake hit.

Live footage showed toppled walls, broken windows and gushing burst water mains 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. The initial strength of the quake was measured at 5.9. Long lines of people waited to board bullet trains as they resumed operation.

Most trains in the Osaka area were still not running by late afternoon, police said.

The epicentre of the quake was in the northern part of the prefecture, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

The Japan Meteorological Agency warned residents of Osaka and surrounding prefectures June 18 to brace for strong aftershocks over the coming week following the magnitude-6.1 quake that rocked the region around the morning commute.

The strongest shaking was north of Osaka, the agency said.

The quake struck at 7:58 a.m. and registered lower 6 in northern Osaka Prefecture on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7, making it the strongest to hit the prefecture since record keeping started in 1923, officials said.

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An 85-year-old man, named as Motochika Goto, was trapped by a falling bookcase at his home. The structure was old and made of concrete blocks - a known risk in earthquakes.

A magnitude 4.6 natural disaster hit southern Gunma Prefecture on Sunday, causing some property damage but so far no reports of injuries have been confirmed.

In the hours following, more than 170,000 homes remained without power in Osaka, while almost 700 Hyogo households were left in the dark, Kansai Electric Power Company told NHK. Some passengers got off trains and walked on the tracks between stations.

The Japanese weather agency issued warnings for further aftershocks and land slides over the next few days.

The vehicle manufacturer Daihatsu said it had suspended operations at its plants in Osaka and nearby Kyoto, while the consumer electronics firm Sharp said its factories were operating normally.

JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. said a refinery in Osaka Prefecture operated by one of its subsidiaries suspended production and shipments. Japan's northern prefectures are still recovering from the magnitude 9.0 quake and tsunami in 2011 that killed more than 18,000.

Both Japan and Guatemala are situated on the Ring of Fire, an area of intense seismic and volcanic activity on both sides of the Pacific Ocean.

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