With poor electricity access in the area, it is the fifth monastery to burn down this way.
A monastery in the village of Lon Pon in northern Shan State’s Tangyan Township burned down this week after a battery attached to a solar panel exploded.
The incident occurred at around 9:00 p.m. on Monday. No one was harmed in the fire.
“The wooden Lon Pon monastery has totally burned to the ground. Nobody was injured,” Tangyan local Sai Pa told SHAN.
Locals say that this is the fifth area monastery to burn down this way.
Many communities in Tangyan are not on the electricity grid, and must find their own power sources. Villagers typically use batteries attached to solar panels to get electricity, or rely on candles for light.
“Only downtown Tangyan has electricity. Most villages don’t have electricity. Villagers use solar panels for electricity. It’s easy for fires to start if villagers use old electrical wiring in their house. We have to be careful,” Sai Pa said.
The reliance faulty wiring connected to on solar panels has had tragic consequences elsewhere in Shan State. A 15-year-old in Hopong Township died on June 1 when a fire started as her phone was charging through a solar panel power source.
Burma has some of the lowest rates of electricity access in Southeast Asia. Some 70 percent of those who do have access to electricity only have it for less than two hours per day, according to World Bank data released in 2018.