Earthquake Strikes Osaka, Disrupts Travel in Japan

People walk on a bridge while train and subway service were suspended to check for damage after an earthquake in Osaka, western Japan.
People walk on a bridge while train and subway service were suspended to check for damage after an earthquake in Osaka, western Japan. // Photo by Meika Fujio/Kyodo News via AP, Newscred

A magnitude 6.1 earthquake hit Japan at approximately 8:00 a.m. local time Monday morning. The earthquake struck north of Osaka and affected large parts of western Japan, including Kyoto, ABC News reports. The earthquake poses no tsunami risk, according to The Japan Meteorological Agency.

According to the latest update from the Japan National Tourism Organization, there are still flight delays and cancellations to and from Osaka International Airport, but all highways in the Kansai region are passable and ferries are “mostly” on schedule.

The tourism organization also stated that the Tokaido Shinkansen train station has resumed operations, though some routes on the Sanyo Shinkansen, JR, Osaka Metro, Hankyu Railway, Hanshin Electric Railway, Kintetsu Railway, Keihan Railway, and Nankai Electric Railway are still under suspension, causing cancellations and delays.

CBS News reports that at least three people were killed, one of them being a 9-year-old girl killed by a concrete wall that fell at her elementary school in Takatsuki as she walked by. The other two fatalities included a man in his 80s who died from the collapse of a concrete wall in Osaka and an 84-year-old man who died after a bookshelf fell on top of him at his home in Ibaraki. The earthquake also resulted in more than 300 injuries.

The morning commute was disrupted by the quake, as dozens of domestic flights in and out of Osaka were grounded, while train and subway services in the Osaka area were suspended to check for damage, according to CBS News.

According to The Japan News, Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways canceled 60 and 14 flights, respectively, affecting more than 7,400 passengers. Kansai Airports - the company which operates the Kansai International Airport, Osaka International Airport, and Kobe Airport - said 82 flights departing and arriving Osaka were canceled throughout the day, CNN reports.

In response to the earthquake, United Airlines issued a travel waiver for passengers who were originally scheduled to travel to, from, or through Kansai International Airport on June 18-19. Customers who book a new United flight departing on or before June 24, 2018, will have the change fee and any difference in fare waived. The fees will be waived as long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed. 

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