'Spiritual Heart of Tibetan Buddhism' Catches Fire
Serious damaged feared at 1,300-year-old Jokhang monastery
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2018 2:48 PM CST
Stock image   (Getty Images/Jason_YU)

(Newser) – A 1,300-year-old monastery "considered the spiritual heart of Tibetan Buddhism" caught fire Saturday and may have suffered serious damage, the AP reports. Images on social media showed flames visible from hundreds of yards away covering a roof of the Jokhang monastery in Lhasa. According to Reuters, no casualties were reported, though there has been little word on the extent of damage or cause of the fire. China is known to closely manage the flow of information out of Tibet, and social media posts regarding the fire were quickly censored. State-run media reported Tibet's Communist Party leader responded to the scene of the fire and shared images of firefighters spraying water on the flames. The Jokhang monastery takes up more than 6 acres of land and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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