Fire at Japanese World Heritage site Shuri Castle

Fire at Japanese World Heritage site Shuri Castle

Agency News

Tokyo, Oct 31 : A fire at Okinawa's iconic Shuri Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was doused 12 hours after it broke out on Thursday.

The Castle caught fire shortly before 2.40 am local time on Thursday, Kyodo reported, adding that the authorities were working to control the fire.As many as 20 fire engines were pressed into service but images broadcast on Japanese television indicate they were unable to bring the blaze under control before it destroyed virtually the entire main section of the castle. No casualties have been reported. The cause of the blaze is being ascertained.

Nearby residents were evacuated while firefighters spent several hours attempting to bring the fire under control.The castle dates back to the days of the Ryukyu kingdom, which began in 1429 and ended in the late 1800s when it was annexed by the government in Tokyo.

The popular tourist site was included in the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2000.(UNI)