World Heritage Site Shuri Castle Up in Flames in Okinawa
A fire is raging at Shuri Castle, a UNESCO’s World Heritage site in the southern prefecture of Okinawa. It started early Thursday morning. Fire trucks have rushed to the scene.
A fire swept through a historic castle in the southern part of the Japanese Island Okinawa. It destroyed much of a structure that symbolized the ancient Ryukyu kingdom. It also was a symbol of the recovery from World War II. The Unesco world heritage site located in the island’s capital of Naha caught fire around 2:40 am, quickly spreading to other buildings in the complex according to police. Nearby victims evacuated, though there have been no initial reports of injuries. The fire took firefighters many hours to get it under control.
The castle, built about 500 years ago by the Ryukyu Dynasty, was designated Japan’s national treasure in 1933. The main hall was restored in 1992 and served as the venue of a banquet for leaders attending the Group of Eight summit. The fire wasn’t the first at the Castle, however, with other fires having occurred in 1453, 1660, 1709 and 1945.