At least 3 killed, more than 200 injured by earthquake in Japan
TOKYO (AP) — Residents in western Japan were cleaning up debris Monday evening after a powerful earthquake hit the area around Osaka, the country’s second-largest city, killing three people and injuring hundreds while knocking over walls and setting off fires.
The magnitude 6.1 earthquake that struck the area early Monday damaged buildings and left many homes without water or gas.
The quake also grounded flights in and out of Osaka and paralysed traffic and commuter trains most of the day.
By evening, bullet trains and some local trains had resumed operation, and stations were swollen with commuters trying to get home, many of them waiting in long lines.
An exodus of commuters who chose to walk home filled sidewalks and bridges.
Some commuters took refuge in nearby shelters instead of going home.
A concrete wall at an elementary school in Takatsuki fell onto the street, killing 9-year-old Rina Miyake as she walked to the school.
Mayor Takeshi Hamada apologised over her death because of the wall’s collapse with the city acknowledged that the wall did not meet building safety codes.
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.
A man in his 80s died in the collapse of a concrete wall in Osaka city.
An 85-year-old man in nearby Ibaraki died after a bookcase fell on top of him at home, according to the disaster management agency.
The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said 307 people were treated for injuries at hospitals.
Most of the injured were in Osaka.
Many homes and buildings, including a major hospital, were temporarily without power, though electricity was restored at most places by mid afternoon.