Published: Mon, June 18, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Strong natural disaster strikes Japanese city

Strong natural disaster strikes Japanese city

Steve Huen Kwok-chuen, executive director of EGL Tours, said its travel agency had more than 10 tours in Osaka, and all had reported in as being safe.

Passengers from a train walk along railroad tracks following an quake in Osaka on June 18, 2018.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters that the government has placed its "top priority on saving people's lives".

Meanwhile, the Nuclear Regulation Authority said it had detected no problems at its local nuclear power plants.

Monday's quake was of a relatively low magnitude, but registered up to a lower-6 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 0 to 7. It also cracked roads and broke water pipes, leaving homes without water.

The Japan Meteorological Agency says a quake with preliminary magnitude of 5.9 struck Monday around 8 a.m.

The natural disaster reminded many in Japan of the magnitude 7.3 Hanshin-Kobe quake in 1995 that killed more than 6,000 in the region.

Toshiyuki Matsumori, who monitors quakes for the Japanese meteorological agency, told Channel News Asia, "There are fears that the risk of house collapses and landslides has increased in the areas shaken strongly".

A strong natural disaster shook the city of Osaka in western Japan, causing scattered damage including broken glass and partial building collapses.

"The floor moved violently". An 84-year-old man living in Ibaraki was killed by a falling bookshelf.

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"My parents suffered a blackout and they have no water".

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

And government spokesman Yoshihide Suga cautioned there was a possibility of strong aftershocks. "I was relieved when I confirmed he was safe".

The epicentre of Monday's quake, which the JMA said occurred at a depth of 13km, was about an hour to the north of the main entertainment district of Dotonbori.

Railway services in Osaka, Shiga, Kyoto and Nara, both high speed bullet trains and local rail services, were halted.

"I saw the ceiling and the floor undulating, and I could barely stand".

Japan sits on the so-called Ring of Fire, one of the most active seismic zones in the world, and experiences earthquakes frequently, which is why most infrastructure is specially created to withstand earthquakes.

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

The tsunami killed thousands of people in its path and sent three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima power plant into meltdown, causing the biggest nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.

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