Magnitude 6.1 quake in Japan's Osaka area kills three, stops factories

A strong earthquake has shaken the city of Osaka in western Japan. There are reports of scattered damage including broken glass and concrete. (Taka

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said more than 40 were injured in Osaka and nearby prefectures of Hyogo and Kyoto.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe instructed the government agencies to "swiftly collect information on damage, make utmost efforts in rescuing and saving lives".

"There have been no reports of substantial damage so far although we are still checking the situation", an official at Osaka prefectural police told AFP.

Despite having a relatively low magnitude, the quake caused quite a shake, registering a lower six on the Japanese experiential scale of up to seven, meaning it is hard to stay standing.

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

KJRI Osaka further said the Japanese government had issued a notice for the possibility of another quake that could be stronger in the coming days.

Shinji Toda, natural disaster geology professor at Tohoku University, said the Uemachi fault in Osaka Prefecture could be involved in the quake.

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Honda Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors said they were resuming operations after temporary suspensions and safety checks.

One of the most powerful earthquakes in decades struck the Osaka region Monday morning, but there were no immediate reports of casualties and Kansai Electric Power Co. said its nuclear plants in Fukui Prefecture were operating normally.

No abnormalities were reported at the Takahama, Mihama and Oi nuclear plants in central Japan, according to Kansai Electric.

Footage on national broadcaster NHK showed flooding from burst underground water pipes, train passengers forced to exit along train lines, and schoolchildren gathering outside in precautionary evacuations. Court sessions scheduled for the day were all cancelled in Osaka district, high and summary courts, while hundreds of public schools in the affected areas were also closed. The initial strength of the quake was measured at 5.9.

Monday's temblor was the latest in a string of quakes over the last few days.

Train guide electric boards tilt following an quake at Ibaraki-shi Station in Ibaraki City, north of Osaka prefecture on June 18, 2018.

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