Earlier this morning, a 6.1 earthquake hit the Japanese of city of Osaka, causing severe damage to the city’s infrastructure. Although only a couple of reports of human casualties have come to light so far, it was learned that an 80-year-old man and a 9-year-old girl were both killed by collapsing walls, according to Japanese news channel NHK. Perhaps the timing of the earthquake was a saving grace in and of itself, striking at a time before people thronged the mass rapid transit systems to get to work.
The earthquake was felt for a duration of thirty seconds, according to some witnesses. However, and in spite of the expectations of severe aftershocks, none were felt. The epicentre of the earthquake was to the northern part of the prefecture, and Kansai Electric Power reported that approximately 170,000 households had had their power supplies disrupted in both Osaka and Hyogo. The company was also quick to issue a statement regarding continued normal operations of its nuclear power plants in Mihama, Takahama and Ohi. Memories of the earthquake of 2011 that led to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster are still fresh enough in the minds of the people.
Assessment of the total damage caused by this earthquake is still under way at this time, and no official statistics on the number of people injured or dead as a result of this seismic event have been released yet. In addition, several businesses with production facilities in the area, such as Daihatsu Motor Corp., have reported that they are temporarily suspending regular operations to do their own internal assessments of the damages to their facilities.