China skyscraper wobbles, spreading panic

19 May, 2021

BEIJING: One of China’s tallest skyscrapers was evacuated Tuesday after it began to shake, sending panicked shoppers scampering to safety in the southern city of Shenzhen. The near 300-metre (980 ft) high SEG Plaza inexplicably began to shake at around 1pm, prompting an evacuation of people inside while pedestrians looked on open-mouthed from the streets outside.

The building was sealed shut as of 2:40pm, according to local media reports. Completed in 2000, the tower is home to a major electronics market as well as various offices in the downtown of one of China’s fastest-growing cities.

Emergency management officials are investigating what caused the tower in Shenzhen’s Futian district to wobble, according to a post on the Twitter-like Weibo platform.

“After checking and analysing the data of various earthquake monitoring stations across the city, there was no earthquake in Shenzhen today,” the statement said.

The district said in another statement late Tuesday that everyone inside had been safely evacuated and that no further movements of the building had been detected. Experts “found no safety abnormalities in the main structure and surrounding environment of the building,” and the interior and exterior components of the building appeared undamaged, the district said.

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