Several feared dead after strong natural disaster hits near Osaka in western Japan

Strong earthquake strikes Japanese city

A nine-year-old girl was killed and one other person feared dead after a strong quake rocked Japan's second city of Osaka during Monday's morning rush hour.

On March 11, 2011, a devastating magnitude 9.0 quake struck under the Pacific Ocean, and the resulting tsunami caused widespread damage and claimed thousands of lives.

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

A 5.9 magnitude quake rattled the city of Osaka, western Japan on Monday morning, leading to partial building collapses. Japanese media reported one of the likely victims is a 9-year-old girl found at a school.

At least 51 people were injured, mainly across the northern Osaka and neighboring prefectures, the broadcaster reports, citing data from local police and fire departments.

A number of train services were suspended, including the "shinkansen" bullet train.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the government was assessing damage and that its top priority was the safety of residents.

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A lower 6 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 was registered in Kita Ward, Osaka as well as Takatsuki, Hirakata, Ibaraki and Minoo in the prefecture.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority said it had detected no problems at any of the region's atomic power plants. "Almost all of the dishes fell and shattered on the floor", Kaori Iwakiri, a 50-year-old nurse in Moriguchi - just north of Osaka city - said.

The strongest shaking was north of Osaka, the agency said.

Live footage showed burst water mains and a house on fire after the quake hit Osaka, which will host next year's Group of 20 summit, just before 8 a.m.as commuters were heading to work.

More than 200 others were hurt in the strong and destructive natural disaster in western Japan. Production at the Honda, Mitsubishi and Toyota auto plants was stopped when the quake hit.

"We were sleeping and it woke us up abruptly", Kate Kilpatrick, who was staying in a hotel in Osaka, told Reuters.

While the quake appeared to spare the region of major infrastructural damage, the Meteorological Agency warned that strong aftershocks could occur, particularly in the next two to three days.

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