Friday, 24 May, 2019

3 dead after natural disaster hits Osaka in western Japan

Deanna Wagner | 18 June, 2018, 09:21

The victims, who have yet to be named, were described as being in a state of "cardiopulmonary arrest" - a term Japanese media use until doctors have conducted formal examinations.

Local officials confirmed the death toll, which includes two men in their 80s, after the area was shaken shortly after 8am local time on Monday.

Stefan Fairweather said he lurched all over the place "like a drunken sailor" as noodles fell around him in Osaka.

The quake registered a lower six on the Japanese Shindo scale of up to seven, meaning it is hard to stay standing.

The morning commute was disrupted as train and subway service in the Osaka area including the bullet train were suspended to check for damage to equipment. Power was quickly restored to more than 170,000 homes that had earlier been cut off, regional utility Kansai Electric Power Co. said.

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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.

The prime minister, Shinzo Abe, said the government was assessing the damage and that its priority was to rescue anyone trapped inside buildings.

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.

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. I thought it was a nightmare because I was so confused.

Kilpatrick, visiting Japan for the first time, said alarms went off nearly immediately in the hotel and a loudspeaker told guests to stay away from windows. "The whole world was aggressively shaking".