2 feared dead, 41 hurt after natural disaster hits Japan

Firefighters check a house damaged by an earthquake in Ibaraki City north of Osaka prefecture

Three people, including a nine-year old girl, died and others are believed to be trapped under rubble after a strong quake hit Japan's Osaka Prefecture.

Police inspect the site - covered by blue sheet - where a 9-year-old girl was killed by fallen wall near a school in Takatsuki, Osaka.

Magnitude 6.1 quake kills three, stops factories in Japan's Osaka area.

Strong earthquakes have struck Ring of Fire nations Japan and Guatemala within hours of each other, with multiple fatalities reported in Japan.

The magnitude 6.1 quake struck north of Osaka city Monday shortly after 8 a.m. An 84-year-old man in nearby Ibaraki died after a bookshelf fell on top of him at home, according to city officials.

Two elderly men and a 9-year-old girl were died from collapsing walls and furniture.

"There are fears that the risk of house collapses and landslides has increased in the areas shaken strongly", said Toshiyuki Matsumori of the country's meteorological agency.

Strong Quake Rattles Japan's Osaka, Causes No Major Damage

No irregularities were detected at the Mihama, Takahama and Ohi nuclear plants to the north of Osaka, Kansai Electric Power said.

The government confirmed 2 of the deaths.

Local officials said they had not received reports of major damage in the highly-urbanised area, where roads and train tracks criss-cross around densely-packed apartment buildings. There was no damage to its Ohi and Takahama nuclear plants which are both located in the region, Kyodo News reported.

Train and subway service including the bullet train have been suspended to check for damage to equipment. Production at the Honda, Mitsubishi and Toyota auto plants was stopped when the quake hit.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters the government was "working united, with its first priority on saving people's lives".

In 1995, a 6.9 natural disaster killed more than 6,000 people in Kobe, 30 kilometers to the west of Osaka.

The Japanese government has set up a task force to gather information related to the strong natural disaster and the Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yoshihide Suga, called on citizens to keep an eye on developments through the media.

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