Strong Quake Rattles Japan's Osaka, Causes No Major Damage

A man in his 80s died in the collapse of a concrete wall in Osaka city.

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

Three people were confirmed dead and nearly 100 injured after a strong natural disaster hit Osaka on Monday morning, rattling one of Japan's industrial heartlands and halting trains and factories across the region.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the tremor was at its strongest just north of Osaka, with an initial recording of 5.9 at a depth of 13km. At 13 kilometres (8.1 miles) it was relatively shallow, and caused heavy shaking that registered a lower 6 on the Japanese scale of 7. It also cracked roads and broke water pipes, leaving homes without water.

The morning commute was disrupted as train and subway service in the Osaka area including the bullet train were suspended to check for damage to equipment.


Kansai Electric Power said no irregularities had been detected at the Mihama, Takahama and Ohi nuclear plants after the quake.

The auto manufacturer Daihatsu said it had suspended operations at its plants in Osaka and nearby Kyoto, while the consumer electronics firm Sharp said its factories were operating normally.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters the government was "working united, with its first priority on saving people's lives". He said he had instructed officials to "swiftly collect information on the damage, do their utmost to rescue people and save lives... and provide timely information to the public".

"We were sleeping and it woke us up abruptly", said Kate Kilpatrick, 19, an American who was staying in a hotel in Osaka when the quake hit.

"It was so terrifying because this is my first quake".

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