TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A massive fire burned much of Japan's historic Shuri Castle to the ground early on Thursday morning (Oct. 31).
The Naha City Fire Department in Japan's southern prefecture of Okinawa received a report that a fire had broken out at the castle at about 2:40 a.m., reported NHK. The blaze reportedly started in the castle's main hall and quickly spread to the nearby Seiden temple and Hokuden structure.
Both the Seiden temple and Hokuden structure have since burned completely to the ground. Firefighters are still battling to contain a blaze on a third structure, and nearby residents have been evacuated to safer areas, reported AP.
Video of the scene shows the entire Seiden temple completely engulfed in orange flames. The castle was built during the Ryukyu Dynasty nearly 500 years ago and was deemed a Japanese national treasure in 1933.
The castle was previously burned to the ground by U.S. forces during WWII. The main hall was not restored until 1992, while the remnants of the original castle were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.