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Western Japan quake: Some gas, water supplies still suspended, several schools closed

A child carries a thermos from a water truck at a quake evacuation center in Takatsuki, Osaka Prefecture, on June 18, 2018. (Mainichi)

OSAKA -- Gas and water supplies remained suspended in some western Japan areas on June 19, a day after a powerful earthquake hit the region.

At least one local government in the disaster area that sustained serious damage has begun to issue certificates on the degrees of damage to residences.

According to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency, four people died in the disaster -- a 9-year-old girl and three people in their 80s all in Osaka Prefecture. A total of 376 people were injured -- 328 in Osaka Prefecture, 29 in Hyogo Prefecture, 10 in Kyoto Prefecture, four in Nara Prefecture, three in Shiga Prefecture and two in Mie Prefecture.

As of 7:30 a.m., 1,785 people were taking refuge at 346 evacuation shelters, according to Osaka Prefectural Government officials.

At least 265 houses in the prefecture were partially damaged in the disaster. The Ibaraki Municipal Government in Osaka Prefecture has begun to issue certificates of damage to residences.

In Osaka Prefecture, 268 public elementary, junior high and high schools were closed on June 19. All such schools were closed in five cities, including Takatsuki and Suita, and one town.

The Takatsuki Municipal Government began examining the safety of all elementary and junior high school buildings as well as their concrete-block walls around them after a 9-year-old girl was crushed to death under such a wall at her school in the city following the quake.

Osaka Gov. Ichiro Matsui instructed the prefectural government to examine concrete-block walls on the premises of all the prefecture-run housing complexes and other facilities to see if they are safe.

Gas supplies remain cut off to 111,951 households in areas including Takatsuki and Ibaraki. Osaka Gas Co. said gas supplies will unlikely be fully resumed until the end of June.

The Minoo Municipal Government in Osaka Prefecture mobilized water tank trucks as water supplies may be cut off to an estimated 8,617 households.

Services on the Osaka Monorail Line remain suspended because of problems with a shunt near Bampaku-kinen-koen Station in the prefectural city of Suita. There are no prospects that services will be resumed anytime soon.

(Japanese original by Kohei Chiwaki, Osaka City News Department, and Yumi Shibamura, Osaka Bureau)

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