300 houses destroyed in China 'Shangri-La' Tibetan village in Yunnan: Report
BEIJING (AFP) - A huge blaze that ripped through the centre of an ancient Tibetan town in the popular Chinese tourist area of Shangri-La has destroyed almost 300 buildings, state-media said on Sunday.
The fire in Gyalthang - which is situated in an area believed to be the inspiration for James Hilton's mythical Shangri-La - flattened two thirds of the town's old centre, the Beijing Morning Post reported.
The government-run Yunnan Net news service said 242 houses, mostly wooden, were burned down in the 1,300-year-old town while a further 43 were demolished to prevent the fire from spreading.
"The damage is extremely heavy," the Yunnan report said, citing local officials who added that a final estimate of the damage was still to be made.