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Strong quake in Shimane Pref. causes damage to World Heritage site

A collapsed stone wall at the ruins of Daian Temple at the site of the Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine is seen in Oda, Shimane Prefecture, on April 11, 2018. (Mainichi)

ODA, Shimane -- A magnitude 6.1 earthquake on April 9 caused damage to 12 locations inside the World Heritage Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine site, including Sahimeyama Shrine, the Oda Municipal Government reported on April 11.

    The facilities will be closed to the public until April 15 for fear of possible aftershocks, city officials said.

    According to the municipal government, as of 6 p.m. on April 11, seven evacuees were taking shelter at four locations in the city and it is distributing water at three points to roughly 70 households whose water supplies have been disrupted.

    At Sahimeyama Shrine, which worships a guardian deity of Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine, a pedestal for stone guardian dogs was found partially damaged. Moreover at the ruins of Daian Temple, stones fell from walls surrounding the temple and were scattered around steps.

    Damage was also reported at the national important culture property "Kumagai ke Jutaku" ("Kumagai Residence"), once home to the high-class merchant Kumagai family.

    The Iwami Ginzan site comprises ruins from mine work in the early 16th to the early 20th centuries and from the miners' living quarters. It was registered as a World Heritage site in 2007. (Japanese original by Tatsuya Shibasaki, Matsue Bureau)

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