Fire partially destroys ancient Tibetan town

Authorities in China's Shangri-La county say more than 100 houses are destroyed by the 10-hour blaze.

Last updated: 11 Jan 2014 09:41
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
More than 100 homes were destroyed in the fire but there were no immediate casualties [Reuters]

Fire has partially destroyed an ancient Tibetan town in China's Shangri-La county, with more than 1,000 firefighters deployed to tackle the blaze.

The fire started on Saturday morning in Dukezong, which dates back 1,300 years and is famous for its cobbled streets and wooden houses.

He Yu, a resident, said she woke to loud, explosion-like sounds.

"The fire was huge. The wind was blowing hard, and the air was dry. I was scared because my home is a little distance away from the ancient town,'' she told news agency AP.

"It kept burning, and the firefighters were there, but there was little they could do because they could not get the fire engines onto the old town's narrow streets."

Local authorities said more than 100 houses were destroyed and that firefighters, police and volunteers tried to bring the 10-hour blaze under control.

There was no immediate report of casualties, and the cause of the fire was unclear, although a provincial news site said it started in a guesthouse on an old street.

Chinese state media said most structures in Dukezong were made of wood and the fire spread easily because of dry weather.

Shangri-La county was once called Gyaitang Zong but changed its name in 2001.


Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.