Strong quake near Osaka, Japan, kills 4, knocks over walls

A shop employee clears broken bottles following an earthquake near Osaka western JapanMore

A shop employee clears broken bottles following an earthquake near Osaka western JapanMore

A powerful quake rocked Japan's second city of Osaka on Monday, killing three people including a nine-year-old girl and injuring more than 300, according to an official tally.

The nine-year-old girl died when she was knocked down by a concrete wall at her school, while a man in his 80s died when a concrete wall collapsed in Osaka city.

The Osaka prefectural government's disaster management department confirmed the girl's death and the death of an older man.

The quake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.9 struck around 8am on Monday about 10kms underground, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

Multiple small aftershocks followed the quake, and an official from Japan's meteorological agency warned residents to remain on guard.

Osaka is Japan's second largest city and like much of Japan is susceptible to earthquakes.

Live footage showed toppled walls, broken windows and gushing burst water mains after the quake hit Osaka, which will host next year's Group of 20 summit, just before 8 a.m. (2300 GMT Sunday) as commuters were heading to work.

The magnitude 6.1 natural disaster near the major city of Osaka killed three people, toppled concrete walls and store shelves and temporarily knocked out some power and water supplies.

Both the high-speed Shinkansen and local trains suspended operations during the morning commuting hours. Television images showed passengers getting off trains onto the tracks between stations.

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NHK said an 80-year-old man had also been killed by a collapsing wall, and that the third fatality was a man trapped under a bookcase in his home.

Some manufacturers, including automakers Daihatsu Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co., electronics makers Panasonic and Sharp Corp., and confectioners Ezaki Glico Co. and Meiji Co., temporarily stopped production lines at their factories in the region for safety checks, news reports said. It also cracked roads and broke water pipes, leaving homes without water.

However, no tsunami warning was issued, reports Efe news.

Reuters The Myotoku-ji temple was damaged by an quake on Monday in Ibaraki, Osaka prefecture.

"Large-scale quakes are likely to happen in the next two to three days", he told reporters.

Defence troops joined rescue and relief operations in parts of Osaka, along with special vehicles to deliver clean drinking water.

Officials warn that rain and landslides could still cause additional damage in areas destabilized by the natural disaster.

"It was not as bad as the Kobe quake", said Jun Kawanami, a 30-year-old lawyer in Osaka. His girlfriend ducked down under the table.

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