3 killed, 300 injured after 6.1 magnitude natural disaster strikes Japan

3 killed, 300 injured after 6.1 magnitude natural disaster strikes Japan

A 9-year-old girl died at Juei Elementary School in Takatasuki, Osaka Prefecture, after the wall of a swimming pool complex collapsed, according to the Osaka prefectural police and other sources.

The magnitude 6.1 natural disaster struck shortly after 8 a.m. north of Osaka at a depth of about 13 kilometers (8 miles), the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

Zachary Reeves, a duty seismologist at the U.S. Geological Survey said magnitude 5 earthquakes occur frequently throughout Japan because the country is located over the western boundary of the Pacific Plate "where one tectonic plate is being forced under another".

The quake caused walls to topple and a number of fires to break out, with 41 people reported to have been injured.

Dozens of domestic flights in and out of Osaka were grounded, while train and subway service in the Osaka area, including bullet trains, was suspended to check for damage. Passengers exited trains on the tracks between stations.

A crack is filled with water on a road after water pipes were broken following an quake in Takatsuki city, Osaka, western Japan, Monday, June 18, 2018.

This is a developing story.

At least 61 people were injured, according to an official tally at 11.45am local time (10.45am in Singapore). "Almost all of the dishes fell and shattered on the floor", said Kaori Iwakiri, a 50-year-old nurse in Moriguchi, just north of Osaka city.

The government officially reported that 307 people were injured in the natural disaster, but national broadcaster NHK reported that the number of injured was at least 350.

The Japanese government had not received reports of major damage as of 8.30am, spokesman Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

Japan's JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy Corp has shut all its refining units at the 115,000 barrels per day Osaka refinery after the quake, with product shipments halted.

Roads suffered severe damage and water pipes burst, sending water flowing onto streets of Takatsuki city where the biggest shock was felt. The girl and one of the men were both killed by collapsing walls, the girl as she walked to her primary school.

The authorities said that none of the 15 nuclear reactors in this region have been affected by the quake. The city is close to Kobe, which was hit by a deadly magnitude 6.9 quake in 1995.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.

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.

Multiple small aftershocks followed the quake, and an official from Japan's meteorological agency warned residents to remain on guard.

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