Strong natural disaster hits Osaka in western Japan; partial building collapses reported

Japan earthquake

TWITTERA 5.9 magnitude earthquake has struck the Osaka region of southern Japan

The Yomiuri Shimbun An estimated magnitude-5.9 quake occurred in Osaka Prefecture at about 7: 58 a.m. Monday.

Japan Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters at a hastily convened press conference that there were no immediate reports of heavy damage, and that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had ordered relevant ministries to gather information on the natural disaster.

Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga says there were no reports of major damage as of 8.30am (local time).

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There was no risk of tsunami from the tremor, the Japanese meteorological agency said, putting its magnitude at 5.9, and the epicentre at a depth of 10 kilometres.

The operation of bullet trains running through the prefecture was suspended following the quake but service was resumed shortly afterward after no safety problems were detected. According to Kansai Electric Power Co. a total of 170,000 households are without power as of 9:25 a.m.

The JMA said that the earthquake's intensity in the southern area of Kyoto Prefecture hit an upper 5 on the same scale, while parts of Shiga, Hyogo and Nara prefectures experienced a lower 5. The inland quake poses no tsunami risk.

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