Tremors continue in quake-hit Osaka

Japan earthquake

Japan earthquake

An elderly man and a nine-year-old young girl have been killed with several others in "cardiopulmonary arrest" after walls collapsed in a magnitude-6.1 quake that has hit Osaka in western Japan, public broadcaster NHK says. It also cracked roads and broke water pipes, leaving homes without water.

However, there was no large-scale destruction and no tsunami warning issued after the quake, although commuters were stranded and tens of thousands were left without power.

A strong quake in Japan has killed at least three people, including a child, and injured more than 200.

A nine-year old girl killed by a falling wall at her school was one of three confirmed fatalities.

Japan's national broadcaster NHK reported that at least 350 people were wounded by the quake, but authorities were still saying 307 by Monday evening, local time.

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

And government spokesman Yoshihide Suga cautioned "there is a possibility that strong aftershocks will happen".

Quakes are common in Japan, part of the seismically active "Ring of Fire" that stretches from the South Pacific through Indonesia and Japan, across to Alaska and down the west coast of North, Central and South America.

It also sent three reactors into meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant, causing Japan's worst postwar disaster and the most serious nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.

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Pictures posted on Twitter showed signs at a train station that had fallen down and books thrown off shelves at a store. It was a strong vertical jolt.

An 85-year-old man died when a bookcase fell on him and an 81-year-old woman was found dead under a toppled dresser. "I plan to take water to them now".

The quake registered a lower six on the Japanese Shindo scale of up to seven, meaning it is hard to stay standing.

Eiji Shibuya, 52, said the tremor reminded him of the devastating 1995 Kobe quake, which killed almost 6,500 people.

"I was anxious about my son as he had just left for his high school".

NHK showed footage of firefighters tackling a blaze that ripped through a home north of Osaka.

Most trains in the area had resumed service on Tuesday, Osaka police said.

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

Japan's meteorological agency meanwhile warned that heavy rains expected in Osaka on Tuesday and Wednesday could cause landslides in the region, with the quake potentially having loosened earth.

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