Strong M5.9 natural disaster, lower 6 on Japana scale, rocks northern Osaka

Strong M5.9 natural disaster, lower 6 on Japana scale, rocks northern Osaka

Officials also said its focus was 13 kilometers below the surface in northern Osaka Prefecture.

The strongest shaking was north of Osaka, but the quake rattled large parts of western Japan, including Kyoto, the agency said.

Japanese media reported one of the quake's victims is a 9-year-old girl found at a school in Takatsuki City.

Two men in their 80s, one from Osaka's Higashiyodogawa Ward, and another from the city of Ibaraki also perished.

The Indonesian Consulate General (KJRI) in Osaka has opened an emergency hotline following a 6.1 Richer scale quake striking the prefecture on Monday morning.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe instructed the government agencies to "swiftly collect information on damage, make utmost efforts in rescuing and saving lives".

Many commuters in the morning rush hour were left stranded at stations and on streets as the quake disrupted operations of shinkansen bullet train and other railways in western and central Japan.

Kepco said its Fukui nuclear plants were operating normally. The temblor had an intensity of lower 6 on the Japanese scale of 7.

"There are fears that the risk of house collapses and landslides has increased in the areas shaken strongly", said Toshiyuki Matsumori, in charge of monitoring quakes at the agency.

"We were sleeping and it woke us up abruptly", said Kate Kilpatrick, 19, an American who was staying in a hotel in Osaka when the quake hit.

Osaka prefecture, which includes the city and surrounding areas, has a population of 8.8 million.

Osaka Gas Co. said it suspended gas supply to 108,000 households in Osaka Prefecture following the quake, while more than 170,000 homes in Osaka and neighboring Hyogo Prefecture are suffering a blackout, Kansai Electric Power Co. said. In 1995, a magnitude 6.9 natural disaster killed more than 6000 people when it struck in neighbouring Kobe.

A massive 9.0 quake hit much further to the north in March 2011, triggering a huge tsunami that killed some 18,000 people and triggered the world's worst nuclear disaster in a quarter of a century at Tokyo Electric Power's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

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