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Heavy rain causes sinkhole at World Heritage castle ruins in Nagasaki Pref.

A sinkhole is seen on the grounds of the Hara Castle ruins, a World Heritage site in Minamishimabara, Nagasaki Prefecture. (Photo courtesy of the municipal board of education)

NAGASAKI -- Recent heavy rain has severely damaged the World Heritage and Japanese national historic site Hara Castle ruins in Minamishimabara, Nagasaki Prefecture, the municipal board of education announced on Aug. 13.

    The remains of Hara Castle are part of the hidden Christian sites in the Nagasaki and Amakusa regions of southwestern Japan, which are on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list.

    Part of the ground on the former site of the castle keep has caved in, creating a sinkhole about 5 meters wide and 5 m deep, and two parts of the approximately 30-meter-high cliff along the sea have collapsed.

    (Japanese original by Mayu Matsumura, Nagasaki Bureau)

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