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Authorities say the death toll from Monday's powerful quake in western Japan has risen to four.

At least three people were killed and over 50 others injured on Monday when a an natural disaster measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale jolted Japan's Osaka city.

Officials in Takatsuki city confirmed the fourth death, of a city resident, but details were not known.

One victim was a nine-year-old girl who was knocked down by a concrete wall at her elementary school as she walked by. Two men in their 80s died after being hit by falling objects.

The magnitude 6.1 quake near the major city of Osaka killed three people, toppled concrete walls and store shelves and temporarily knocked out some power and water supplies.

The inland quake did not trigger a tsunami and no nuclear power plants in the vicinity reported abnormalities, but dozens of fires were reported in Osaka, Hyogo, Kyoto and Mie prefectures, according to local authorities.

A strong natural disaster shook the city of Osaka in western Japan, causing scattered damage including broken glass and partial building collapses.

Top Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga on Monday confirmed the deaths of a child and a man, and said a third person was also feared dead in the quake.

The magnitude 6.1 quake struck shortly after 8am north of Osaka at a depth of about 13 kilometres (8 miles), the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

The quake also hit several key industrial areas near Osaka with companies like Panasonic and Daihatsu saying they were suspending production at their affected sites.

More than 200 other people have been injured by debris, burst water mains and fires.

Due to damage to underground gas lines, 110,000 homes in Takatsuki and Ibaraki cities were without gas, and repairs are expected to take as long as two weeks, according to Osaka Gas Co. The Japanese meteorological agency originally put the quake's magnitude at 5.9 but later raised it to 6.1.

The weather agency warned that a strong quake with a similar size could jolt the Osaka region within a week, but dismissed concerns that Monday's temblor could trigger a megaquake that is projected to occur in the future off western Japan with massive tsunami.

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.

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