Environment

Earthquake Hits Japan

On Monday, three elderly people and a child were killed by a strong earthquake which struck the hustling and bustling metropolitan area in western Japan.

The earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1, brought down walls in Osaka and surrounding areas — gradually raising the fears of landslides, as told by the Japanese Meteorological Agency.

The people were injured counted to over 300. Toshiyuki Matsumori, an official from the Meteorological agency, warned that aftershock tremors are expected and could occur for up to three days after the initial quake. He even warned through the Japanese broadcaster, NHK, that people are suggested to avoid entering dangerous areas unless it is absolutely necessary and must also ensure their own personal safety.

The four victims, who deceased through the course of the earthquake, included a nine-year-old girl, Rina Miyake who passed away when her elementary school wall made of concrete blocks partially collapsed in Takatsuki City. NHK also showed glimpses of the half a high broken concrete wall painted with flowers and trees and the blue sky surrounding the school swimming pool. Another man aged in his 80s was killed by a collapsing brick wall in Osaka City while another man, from the Ibaraki City, in his 80s died when he got struck by a bookshelf in his home, according to the disaster management agency.

The latest confirmation of death, was from Takatsuki, increasing the death toll to four. Initially the city officials had no information regarding the victim, later it was confirmed that the victim was an 81-year-old woman who passed away in her home after a wardrobe fell upon her.

This earthquake made us and Japan recall the Hanshin-Kobe earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.3 that had killed more than 6,000 people in 1995, in the same region.

This earthquake of Monday was further followed by a series of smaller quakes or after-shocks near Tokyo in recently.

This earthquake that struck the area early Monday, with a magnitude of 6.1, damaged buildings and left many homes without water or gas. Even the flights were also grounded from in and out of Osaka, due to the quake and had also paralyzed traffic and commuter trains for most of the day. Though, by evening, bullet trains and some local trains had resumed operation, and stations were crowded with people trying to get home, many of them waiting in long queues. An exodus of people who chose to walk home instead filled bridges and sidewalks.

Several people even took refuge in nearby shelters instead of going home. NHK public television showed, at Ibaraki City, clusters of men wearing formals and carrying briefcases sitting on gym mats at a junior high school gymnasium where even some families had also gathered.

The quake also caused damage underground gas lines, over one lakh homes in Takatsuki and Ibaraki cities were without gas, and repairs according to Osaka Gas Co., are expected to take as long as two weeks.To deliver clean drinking water, defence troops joined rescue and relief operations in parts of Osaka, along with special vehicles.

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