A raging fire that broke out at the UNESCO World Heritage site in Japan, Shuri Castle, on October 31, has been put out after it completely destroyed the main structures. The fire has also caused damage to more than 4000 square meters of the historical heritage site. According to reports, the fire was put out by using 30 fire engines that were provided by the Naha City department.
The fire department also said that one of the responders was in the hospital due to dehydration. According to the police, the fire had charred seven buildings on the castle ground including the main hall.
The UNESCO site was a reflection of Okinawa's cultural heritage during the time of the Ryukyu Dynasty that spanned during a time period from 1429 till 1879 when the island was taken over by Japan. It was given the tag of Japan's national treasure in the year 1933 and the main hall of the castle was restored in the year 1922 along with all the adjoining buildings.
It also acts as a symbol of the Japanese island's struggle to recover from the aftermath of World War II. The castle was charred during the 1945 battle of Okinawa that took place near the end of WWII and in which approximately 200,000 people lost their lives on the island.
The Shuri Castle was restored in the year 1992 as a national park and was given the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000 after being considered a part of ancient ruins that were a direct reflection and provided a testimony of an ancient past that survived the ravages of time into the modern era.
UNESCO director, General Audrey Azoulay, offered her sympathies to the Japanese people as they once again faced the task of rebuilding what was burnt down. She also said that this incident was a loss for humanity.
Deep emotion and sincere solidarity with the Japanese people as we see the tragic fire at the beautiful #shuricastle, inscribed as #UNESCO world heritage in 2000. This is a loss for all humanity. https://t.co/P3xNeUyChG— Audrey Azoulay (@AAzoulay) October 30, 2019
According to reports, the Japanese government, sent the concerned authorities from the Agency of Cultural Affairs and other governmental organizations to investigate the reasons that resulted in the fire.
(With inputs from agencies)