China: 355-meter-tall skyscraper in Shenzhen shakes, evacuated
One of China's tallest skyscrapers inexplicably started wobbling this afternoon, spreading panic among people in the city of Shenzhen and triggering evacuations. Several videos of the incident have surfaced online, showing hundreds of local residents looking flabbergasted and running away from the building in panic. The authorities are investigating the cause while an earthquake has been ruled out.
Building was reportedly sealed shut by 3 pm
The 355-meter-tall building started shaking around 1 pm, after which people were ordered to vacate it. It was sealed by 3 pm, according to local media reports. The Emergency Management Bureau in Shenzhen is investigating what caused the tower to wobble. Officials said no earthquake was detected in the city. "The cause of the shaking is being verified by various departments," a statement said.
Here is a video of the incident
Such shaking occurs only when there is an earthquake: Engineer
Such shaking usually occurs only when there is an earthquake and it would be abnormal for the building to wobble if there is no earthquake, Lu Jianxin, a senior engineer from the China State Construction Engineering Corporation, told a local newspaper. "Judging from what's published, this could be a sheer coincidence - resonance (sic)," Jianxin said, adding it is only his guess.
The SEG Plaza was completed in 2000
The building, called the SEG Plaza, is named after the electronics manufacturer Shenzhen Electronics Group, whose offices are based there. It is the 18th tallest tower in the city, according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat skyscraper database. It is also the 104th tallest building in China and the 212nd tallest around the world, according to reports.
Last year, 29 died after building collapsed in Quanzhou
Incidents of building collapse are not rare in China. In March last year, a five-story quarantine hotel in the city of Quanzhou in Fujian province collapsed allegedly due to poor construction, killing 29 people. Earlier, the 2008 Sichuan earthquake had killed close to 70,000 people and prompted a debate over poorly constructed school buildings as thousands of students died in that disaster.