Schoolgirl killed by falling wall as natural disaster strikes Osaka, Japan

Japan earthquake: Death toll climbs after 6.1 temblor strikes Osaka

Three dead, dozens injured after 6.1 magnitude earthquake around Osaka, Japan

At least three people have died and at least 200 more were injured after an quake struck Japan's northern Osaka region on Monday morning.

A strong natural disaster knocked over walls and set off scattered fires around the city of Osaka Monday morning. Several rail services were suspended, including the bullet train.

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.

The quake collapsed walls and damaged roofs, with the nine-year-old girl killed after she was trapped by a damaged wall at a swimming complex north of Osaka. Most of the injured were in Osaka, which did not give details, but the injuries reported in Kyoto and three other neighboring prefectures were all minor.

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Top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga confirmed the deaths of a child and a man, and said a third person was also feared dead in the quake. It had a depth of about 8 miles (13 kilometers) with an original magnitude measured at 5.9.

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

No irregularities were detected at the Mihama, Takahama and Ohi nuclear plants to the north of Osaka, Kansai Electric Power said. "We were sleeping and it woke us up abruptly", Kate Kilpatrick, who was staying in a hotel in Osaka, told Reuters.

Pictures on Twitter showed fallen signs at a train station.

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"Though most public transport was still paralysed, buses were working". It rated the quake at "6 Lower" on its JMA Seismic Intensity scale, meaning the shaking would have been severe enough to make it hard to remain standing.

A lower 6 on the 7-tier Japanese seismic intensity scale was recorded in Kita Ward, Osaka city, as well as in the municipalities of Takatsuki, Hirakata, Ibaraki and Minoo in the same prefecture. The strongest shaking was north of Osaka, but the quake rattled large parts of western Japan, including Kyoto, the agency said. NHK said that the elderly man and the girl had been killed by collapsing walls. Monday's quake also followed a series of smaller quakes near Tokyo in recent weeks.

"I could see the overhead electricity cables outside my house shake quite a lot. I thought it was a nightmare because I was so confused", she said.

Both Japan and Guatemala are situated on the Ring of Fire, an area of intense seismic and volcanic activity on both sides of the Pacific Ocean.

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It also sent three reactors into meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant, causing Japan's worst postwar disaster and the most serious nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.

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