Strong deadly natural disaster rattles Japan

Earthquake kills 3 injures dozens in western Japan

Three people, including a nine-year old girl, died and others are believed to be trapped under rubble after a strong natural disaster hit Japan's Osaka Prefecture.

A magnitude 6.1 quake shook Osaka today killing three people, halting factory lines in a key industrial area and bursting water mains, government officials and broadcaster NHK said.

NHK showed footage of firefighters tackling a blaze that ripped through a home north of Osaka city after the quake, and several broadcasters showed images of water gushing into the street from underground pipes.

A 9-year-old girl and a man in his 80s died when they were struck by collapsing walls after the magnitude-6.1 quake struck just before 8am local time, local media said. An 84-year-old man in nearby Ibaraki died after a bookshelf fell on top of him at home, according to city officials.

The 5.3 magnitude quake shook Osaka, on Japan's main Honshu Island, around 8 a.m. Monday local time (7 p.m. Sunday ET) according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).

Myotokuji temple is destroyed by an natural disaster registering a weak 6 on the Japanese seismic scale in Ibaraki City, the north side of Osaka Prefecture on June 18, 2018.

Japanese authorities don't confirm death until after an examination at a hospital.

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The quake caused walls to topple and a number of fires to break out, with 41 people reported to have been injured. The jolt struck during the Monday morning rush hour, and forced a halt to some rail services.

The 6.1 magnitude quake did not trigger a tsunami warning and nuclear plants in the area are operating normally.

The government confirmed 2 of the deaths. Some passengers got off trains and walked on the tracks between stations.

The meteorological agency warned the quake might be followed by another big tremor in the coming days.

Senior government officials are gathering for an emergency meeting at the Prime Minister's office, broadcaster NHK reported.

Daihatsu Motor Co, a unit of Toyota Motor Corp, said it had suspended production at its factories in Osaka and Kyoto while it checked for damage. In 1995, a magnitude 6.9 quake killed more than 6,000 people when it struck in neighboring Kobe.

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