UK & World News

  • 11 January 2014, 21:49

Shangri-La: Ancient Homes Destroyed By Fire

A 1,300-year-old Tibetan village has been partially destroyed by fire, according to state media.

The fire began at around 1.30am in Dukezong, in Shangri-La, in China's southwest Yunnan province, and destroyed more than 100 traditional wooden houses, Xinhua news agency said.

More than 1,000 firefighters were called in to battle the giant blaze, which at times had flames more than 10 metres high.

Local authorities said strong winds hampered efforts to control the fire, which was still spreading by mid-morning on Saturday.

Villagers were evacuated as the fire broke out and no casualties have been reported.

The cause of the fire is still unknown but the cost of damage is expected to reach 100 million yuan (10m), according to the Chinese news portal Zhongguo Xinwen Wang.

Dukezong, which means "town of the Moon", was founded around 1,300 years ago, and is known for its well-preserved ancient streets and traditional culture.

Earlier this week another high-profile site of Tibetan culture, the Buddhist Serthar institute in the nearby province of Sichuan, also went up in flames with ten buildings destroyed.

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