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Thirty-two cultural heritage sites damaged by typhoon

Roof tiles that have fallen off the Geungnakjeon building are seen on the ground in Bulguksa Temple, Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province, on Wednesday. (CHA)
Roof tiles that have fallen off the Geungnakjeon building are seen on the ground in Bulguksa Temple, Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province, on Wednesday. (CHA)
A total of 32 cases of heritage site damage was reported as of Wednesday evening in the aftermath of typhoon Hannamnor which slammed the country on Monday, according to the Cultural Heritage Administration.

Seokguram Grotto and the Bulguksa Temple site in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province, are among that sites that suffered major damage.

Historical sites accounted for 24 cases, followed by three Treasures, two National Folklore Cultural Heritage, and one National Treasure, Natural Monument, and Registered Cultural Heritage each.

By region, 16 cases were reported in North Gyeongsang Province, eight in South Gyeongsang Province, four in Gyeonggi Province, and two each in Seoul and Jeju Island.

Roof tiles fell off of the Geungnakjeon, the main hall of Bulguksa Temple, where the Amitabha Buddha is enshrined. Several trees at the compound were also knocked down.

The entrance to the Seokguram Grotto, a National Treasure and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was partially destroyed, along with the front yard of its administrative office which also sustained damage. Visitors are currently restricted from entering the area.

Part of the surrounding stone pillars and roads to the Gyeongju Girimsa Temple's Daejeokgwangjeon that enshrines Vairocana Buddha were washed away.

Pine trees near another Treasure, the Baedong Stone Buddha Triad, were knocked down.

The royal tombs in Gyeongju and Gimhae were also hit by the typhoon.

The stylobate and shaft base of the tomb of King Wonseong (785-798) of Silla in Gyeongju collapsed while a heavy mudslide washed off part of Hwangnyongsa temple's soil.

In Gimhae, a willow tree next to the Royal Tomb of King Suro who founded the Garak Kingdom in 42 A.D. fell down while some 10 meters of the walking trail of Bunsanseong Fortress collapsed.

The CHA has put into effect emergency repair plans to prevent further damage to heritage sites, with local governments working to restore minor damages.

By Kim Hae-yeon (hykim@heraldcorp.com)

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