World News

Japan Earthquake Kills at Least 3 and Injures Hundreds More

Posted June 18, 2018 12:42 a.m. EDT

HONG KONG — An earthquake struck north of the Japanese city of Osaka on Monday morning, killing at least three people and injuring at least 217 others, the authorities and the local news media said.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said the 6.1-magnitude quake was recorded at 7:58 a.m. local time in the northern part of Osaka prefecture in western Japan.

NHK, the public broadcaster, said the dead included a 9-year-old girl who was struck by the collapsing wall of a swimming pool at an elementary school in the city of Takatsuki. The other two casualties were men in their 80s, one of them in Osaka.

Many commuters were stranded at stations when the earthquake disrupted train service across western and central Japan, the Kyodo news agency reported.

“I saw the ceiling and the floor undulating, and I could barely stand,” Katsufumi Abe, 64, who was at JR Osaka Station on his way to Kyoto when the quake struck, told Kyodo. “I was very scared.”

Highways were closed across the Osaka area, NHK reported, but the region’s airports were operating normally. Osaka is part of the Kansai region, which has a population of 22 million.

NHK said no tsunami warning was issued.

The Kansai Electric Power Co. initially said that more than 170,000 homes in Osaka and neighboring Hyogo prefecture were experiencing a blackout, according to the Kyodo agency. But electricity was restored later on Monday morning.

At a televised news briefing, Toshiyuki Matsumori, an official at the meteorological agency, advised people in the area to be prepared for follow-up quakes of around the same intensity.

Matsumori said there was an active fault close to the quake’s epicenter, but that the agency had not confirmed if the fault had moved. “The agency is going to analyze it further,” he said.

More than 6,000 people were killed when a 6.9-magnitude quake struck Kobe, a neighboring city, in 1995.