One of the most powerful earthquakes to rock the Kansai region in decades struck Osaka and neighboring prefectures June 18 morning, leaving at least five people dead and more than 300 injured.
The earthquake, which had a magnitude of 6.1 and registered lower 6 on the Japanese intensity scale from 1 to 7, hit at 7:58 a.m. at a depth of about 13 km under northern Osaka, the Meteorological Agency said. No tsunami warning was issued.
The quake literally woke the Kansai region and underscored the fact that the region remains just as vulnerable as other parts of Japan that have been more seismically active since the magnitude 7.3 Great Hanshin Earthquake killed 6,434 people and left Kobe devastated in 1995.
More than 60 bullet trains were canceled in the morning and some expressways were closed. Both Kansai International Airport and Kobe Airport temporarily closed but resumed operations after confirming there was no structural damage.
In a quake with an intensity of lower 6, it is difficult to remain standing, and unsecured furniture may move or topple over, according to the Meteorological Agency. (The Japan Times)