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A strong natural disaster with a magnitude of 6.1 hit Osaka and other parts of western Japan on Monday morning, leaving at least three people dead and more than 200 injured, disrupting rush-hour traffic and cutting off power, water and gas in the area.

Osaka Gas Co. said it suspended gas supply to 108,000 households in Osaka Prefecture following the quake, while more than 170,000 homes in Osaka and neighboring Hyogo Prefecture are suffering a blackout, Kansai Electric Power Co. said.

Trains in the area were halted as a precaution, public broadcaster NHK said.

A powerful natural disaster has left three dead in Osaka, Japan, on Monday.

Singaporean Benny Tong, who is in Osaka to visit his fiancee and her family, said he felt "intense rattling" for about 20 seconds before the quake.

It set off multiple building fires and toppled walls.

A falling concrete wall knocked down Rina Miyake as she walked by at her elementary school in Takatsuki.

A magnitude 6.1 quake shook Osaka, Japan's second-biggest metropolis, early on Monday morning, killing three people, halting factory lines in a key industrial area and bursting water mains, government officials and broadcaster NHK said. It also cracked roads and broke water pipes, leaving homes without water.

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It disrupted the morning commute for thousands of people, including those outside the city, with bullet train and subway services suspended while they were checked for damage. A strong quake hit western Japan early June 18, but there were no immediate reports of major damage or risk of tsunami waves, officials said.

Takatsuki Mayor Takeshi Hamada apologized over her death because of the wall's collapse. Heavy shaking was reported across the Kansai region, but there was no tsunami alert issue after the quake, which was centered inland.

Another man in his 80s died in the city of Ibaraki after being trapped under a bookshelf.

Many homes and buildings, including a major hospital, were temporarily without power, though electricity was restored at most places by midafternoon.

Pictures on Twitter showed fallen signs at a train station. Some subway services started to resume in the afternoon. The Japanese meteorological agency originally put the quake's magnitude at 5.9 but later raised it to 6.1. Monday's quake also followed a series of smaller quakes near Tokyo in recent weeks.

"It was not as bad as the Kobe quake", he told the Associated Press from Osaka.

A 30-year-old lawyer Jun Kawasaki said the quake reminded him of the Kobe quake 23 years ago, and started packing up immediately to run away.


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