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Powerful quake that jolted northern Osaka Pref. occurred near fault zone

TOKYO -- A powerful earthquake that jolted northern Osaka Prefecture on June 18, leaving at least three dead and dozens injured, occurred near a major active fault zone, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said.

The temblor occurred very close to the Arima-Takatsuki fault zone that extends about 55 kilometers from an area west of the Arima hot spring area in Kobe's Kita Ward, to the northern tip of downtown Takatsuki, Osaka Prefecture, agency officials said.

The fault zone triggered the estimated magnitude-7.5 Keicho-Fushimi earthquake in 1596, according to the JMA. Experts have predicted that there is a less than 0.1 percent chance that the fault zone will trigger a magnitude-7.5 temblor within 30 years.

The June 18 quake is the first time that a temblor registering a lower 6 on the 7-point Japanese seismic intensity scale has jolted Osaka Prefecture since 1923, when seismic records began being kept.

(Japanese original by Tomohiro Ikeda, Tokyo Science & Environment News Department)

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