Japan hit by 6.1 Richter scale earthquake, industrial production affected

Factory production, including those of Panasonic, Daihatsu Motor Co, a unit of Toyota Motor Corp, Sharp Corp, in Osaka and in its surrounding regions have been affected.

Early on Monday, Japan’s news daily NHK reported that an earthquake measuring 6.1 in the richter scale hit Japan’s second-biggest metropolis, Osaka.

As a result of the earthquake, 3 people have died, water pipelines have burst open and factory production in a key industrial area has come to a grinding halt, said NHK.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated authorities were assessing the damage and top priority was given to the safety of the residents.

According to live footage, the earthquake hit Osaka just before 8AM (2300 GMT Sunday), as commuters were heading out to work.

Japan Meteorological Agency disclosed that the epicenter of the earthquake was just north of Osaka city.

Osaka-based Panasonic said it was halting the production of 2 of its plants – one produces projectors and the other lighting devices.

Daihatsu Motor Co, a unit of Toyota Motor Corp, also said it had suspended production at its factories in Osaka and Kyoto and is checking for damages.

“We were sleeping and it woke us up abruptly,” said Kate Kilpatrick, 19, an American who was staying in a hotel in Osaka when the quake hit. “It was so terrifying because this is my first earthquake. I thought it was a nightmare because I was so confused”.

She went on to add, “The whole world was aggressively shaking.”

Osaka prefecture, which includes the city and surrounding areas, has a population of 8.8 million.

Incidentally, no damage, is yet, detected at the Ohi, Mihama abd Takahama nuclear plants to the north of Osaka, said Kansai Electric Power while adding more than 170,000 households in Osaka and neighboring Hyogo prefecture had lost power due to the earthquake. It nevertheless had managed to restore power within two hours, said the utility.

According to Sharp Corp, a joint venture plant with its parent Hon Hai Precision Industry had halted operations and is undergoing safety checks procedures. Its directly owned plants have not been affected by the earthquake.

Honda Motor Co. Disclosed that production in the nearby Mie prefecture, in Suzuka, has been halted for checks. Having not gound any problems, operations are back to normal.

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