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Strong quake near Osaka, Japan, kills 3, knocks over walls

2018-06-18 17:26:00
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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 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 8 a.m. north of Osaka at a depth of about 13 kilometers (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.Some subway service resumed in the afternoon, but train stations remained crowded with passengers waiting for trains to restart, many of them sitting on the floor. Long lines of people waited to board bullet trains as they resumed operation.The quake knocked over walls, broke windows and set off scattered building fires. It toppled bookcases in homes and scattered goods on shop floors. 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. NHK public television aired video showing the collapsed upper half of the high wall, which was painted cheerfully with trees, flowers and blue sky and surrounded the school swimming pool.Takatsuki Mayor Takeshi Hamada apologized over her death because of the wall’s collapse. The structure was old and made of concrete blocks — a known risk in earthquakes. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga ordered the Education Ministry to conduct nationwide safety checks of concrete block structures at public schools.
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