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3 Dead, Hundreds Hurt in Strong Japan Quake

6.1 quake hit Osaka during morning commute
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 18, 2018 12:26 AM CDT
Updated Jun 18, 2018 1:33 AM CDT
Smoke rises from a house blaze in Takatsuki, Osaka, following an earthquake Monday, June 18, 2018.   (Kyodo News via AP)
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(Newser) – A strong earthquake knocked over walls and set off scattered fires around metropolitan Osaka in western Japan on Monday, killing at least three people and injuring more than 300. A 9-year-old girl was killed by a falling concrete wall at her school, and the two other fatalities were men in their 80s, the AP reports. The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said 307 people were treated for injuries at hospitals. Most of the injured were in Osaka—Japan's No. 2 city, bustling with businesses. Osaka officials did not give details, but the injuries reported in Kyoto and three other neighboring prefectures were all minor. The magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck shortly after 8am north of Osaka at a depth of about 8 miles, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

The strongest shaking was north of Osaka, but the quake rattled large parts of western Japan, including Kyoto, the agency said. Dozens of domestic flights in and out of Osaka were grounded, while train and subway service in the Osaka area, including the bullet train, were suspended to check for damage. Passengers exited trains on the tracks between stations. The quake knocked over walls, broke windows, and set off scattered building fires. It also cracked roads and broke water pipes, leaving homes without water. A falling concrete wall knocked down and killed Rina Miyake as she walked at her elementary school in Takatsuki. A man in his 80s died in the collapse of a concrete wall in Osaka city. An 84-year-old man in nearby Ibaraki died after a bookcase fell on top of him at home, according to city officials. (Read more Japan earthquake stories.)

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