We’ve learned (via Nikkei) that a historic castle in Japan has burned down.
The main structures in the historic and World Heritage recognized Shuri Castle, in Okinawa, have burned down to the ground. Japanese firefighters were battling the flames in an early morning fire.
Reportedly, the fire started just prior to 2:40 AM in the castle, a big tourist spot in the southern prefecture capital of Naha. There are no current reports of injuries, however 30 local residents were temporarily evacuated.
A total of six castle buildings making up roughly 4,200 square meters were completely gutted, with local firefighters thinking the flames started in the Seiden main hall, however they’re still investigating. Over 10 fire engines were sent to contain the flames.
The ancient castle dates from the 1400s, where it was the palace of the Ryukyu Kingdom, until the island was reintegrated back into Japan in 1879. It was nearly destroyed entirely in the wake of World War II, where ground battles with U.S. forces practically destroyed the castle.
In 1992 the castle was restored and opened nation park, and was later recognized as Japan’s 11th World Heritage site in 2000, alongside other ruins and ancient monuments on the island.