Japan natural disaster: Death toll climbs after 6.1 temblor strikes Osaka

Japan earthquake

Japan earthquake

National broadcast NHK said an elderly man was also killed by a collapsing wall, while another was trapped below a bookcase at home.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the government was assessing damage and that its top priority was the safety of residents.

"I want you to make your utmost effort to restore public transport as well as gas and water supplies", he added.

A police officer stands guard at the site where a girl was killed by fallen wall caused by an natural disaster at an elementary school in Takatsuki, Osaka prefecture, western Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo June 18, 2018.

Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga says there were no reports of major damage as of 8:30 a.m.

The quake struck in one of Japan's main manufacturing heartlands, home to companies including Panasonic, Nintendo and Keyence Corp.

The authorities said that none of the 15 nuclear reactors in this region have been affected by the quake.

Kansai Electric said on its website that around 170,000 homes in the Osaka region were briefly left without power. At 13 kilometers (8.1 miles) it was relatively shallow, and caused heavy shaking that registered a lower 6 on the Japanese scale of 7. "There are fears that the risk of house collapses and landslides has increased in the areas shaken strongly", said Toshiyuki Matsumori of the country's meteorological agency.

"Please make sure that you are fully on alert about seismic activities and information on rainfall, and stay clear of unsafe places", he cautioned residents.

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Local police said the child who was killed was a nine-year-old girl who lived in the city of Takatsuki, north of Osaka, where a wall collapsed on her at school.

The train and subway service in and around Osaka, including the bullet train to Tokyo, was suspended while checks were made.

Television images showed buildings swaying and burst pipes spewing water after the quake, which struck at the height of rush hour in the city of around two million. Vehicle makers Honda, Mitsubishi, Toyota and Daihatsu all stopped production at plants in the region.

Honda restarted the production line at its Suzuka factory in Mie Prefecture after confirming safety. The Japan Meteorological Agency has updated the magnitude of the quake to a stronger 6.1.

Tractor maker Kubota Corp. said it halted two plants in the area, while air conditioner maker Daikin Industries Ltd suspended operations at two plants, one of which had restarted by noon.

Stefan Fairweather said he lurched all over the place "like a drunken sailor" as noodles fell around him in Osaka.

It has a population of 2.7 million and is Japan's second-largest city.

Japan's northern prefectures are still recovering from the magnitude 9.0 quake and tsunami in 2011 that killed more than 18,000.

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