World’s Largest Tibetan Buddhist Institute Ravaged by Fire

A dozen structures destroyed

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Feng Wei Photography

Ten of thousands monks and nuns live in these red log cabins in Seda Larong Wuming Buddhist Institute, the largest and most influential center for the study of Tibetan Buddhism in the world, situated in Larung valley, Seda county, Garze (Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan, China.

A huge fire has destroyed more than a dozen buildings at Seda Larung Wuming, the world’s largest Tibetan Buddhist institute in Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province, China.

The fire broke out at 7.30 p.m. on Thursday and around 450 people joined the rescue operations, where uniformed personnel could be seen working through the debris side by side with people in Buddhist robes.

Seda Larung Wuming was founded in 1980 and every year attracts thousands of students, who undertake six to thirteen years of training. Reports on Chinese social media network Sina Weibo said that fires had been reported before at the site, which is mainly made up of wooden structures.

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China Daily has learnt that as at 1:30 pm, the fire has been extinguished. According the local official, the estimated economic loss is at 100million rmb($16.5).

No casualties have been reported and the cause of the fire is being investigated.

Local officials said the fire started from a little shop near the center of the old town. Police received the report at 1:27 am and 2,000firefighters rushed to the rescue.

As of 11.30 am, the fire has been brought under control, according to People's Daily. However there is still danger of flare-ups.

Firefighters from Lijiang and Dali had arrived during the night to support the battle against the blaze.

They had their work cut out not only because the wooden structures in the town were extremely flammable, but also because water hadfrozen in the pipes due to the cold, hindering rescue.

Dukezong, meaning "town of the moon" in Tibetan was built 1,300 years ago and became an important landmark on the South Silk Road. Itis now one of the most renowned resorts in Shangri-la, known for its well-preserved ancient Tibetan dwellings.

China Daily has learnt that as at 1:30 pm, the fire has been extinguished. According the local official, the estimated economic loss is at 100million rmb($16.5).

No casualties have been reported and the cause of the fire is being investigated.

Local officials said the fire started from a little shop near the center of the old town. Police received the report at 1:27 am and 2,000firefighters rushed to the rescue.

As of 11.30 am, the fire has been brought under control, according to People's Daily. However there is still danger of flare-ups.

Firefighters from Lijiang and Dali had arrived during the night to support the battle against the blaze.

They had their work cut out not only because the wooden structures in the town were extremely flammable, but also because water hadfrozen in the pipes due to the cold, hindering rescue.

Dukezong, meaning "town of the moon" in Tibetan was built 1,300 years ago and became an important landmark on the South Silk Road. Itis now one of the most renowned resorts in Shangri-la, known for its well-preserved ancient Tibetan dwellings.


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10 hour inferno has raised an ancient Tibetan Town in China;s south west Yunnan province that is popular with tourists.

There is no immediate report of casualties and the cause of fire is unclear but the  town was engulfed in a sea of fire that turned the night sky red.

The Deqen prefecture government said the fire broke out at 1.27 AM in the ancient town of  Dukezong.It says more than 1000 fire fighters  responded to the blaze and  brought it under control at  11 AM.

Xinhua says more than 100 houses destroyed.