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People Flee As Huge Skyscraper Mysteriously Begins To Shake

by : Hannah Smith on : 18 May 2021 14:06
People Flee As Huge Skyscraper Mysteriously Begins To Shake@dZnJUCdo4FlZqgd/Twitter

One of China’s tallest skyscrapers has been evacuated and sealed off after it begin inexplicably shaking on its foundations.

The SEG Plaza, a 71-storey tower in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, appeared to suddenly begin tilting backwards and forwards early Tuesday afternoon, May 18, sending panicked passers-by fleeing and prompting a hurried evacuation of the building, which houses a shopping market and offices, as well as two observation decks.

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In a statement, Shenzhen’s emergency management bureau confirmed no earthquake had been detected in the region, and said it was working to investigate the cause of the shaking.

‘After checking and analysing the data of various earthquake monitoring stations across the city, there was no earthquake in Shenzhen today,’ they said, per AFP. ‘The cause of the shaking is being verified by various departments.’

Footage posted to Chinese social media platform Weibo shows hundreds of people screaming as they run away from the building, as well as terrified shoppers pouring out from building’s exit. One user posted a video from a nearby building with the caption, ‘SEG has been completely evacuated.’

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The Plaza, which is located in the heart of Shenzhen, will remain closed while officials investigate. The Chinese state-run Global Times quoted officials as saying there were no ‘safety abnormalities’ detected in the building and surrounding area.

The Shenzhen housing and construction bureau confirmed there were no ‘ground cracks,’ and that the building’s main structure remained in ‘normal condition’.

Shenzhen skyline in southern China (PA Images)PA Images

In comments reported by the Global Times, Lu Jianxin, a senior engineer from China State Construction Engineering Corporation, speculated that the shaking could have been caused by ‘resonance’ – vibrations occurring in buildings.

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At 355 metres tall, the SEG Plaza is the 18th tallest building in Shenzhen, and the 21st tallest in China overall. It’s located in Huaqiangbei – one of the city’s busiest retail areas often dubbed the world’s largest electronics market.

The Chinese government recently enacted new restrictions banning the construction of new skyscrapers more than 500m tall, in favour of buildings that would ‘highlight Chinese characteristics,’ AFP reports.

China has seen several deadly building collapses over the past few years as a result of poor construction and lax regulations. In May last year, 29 people were killed in a hotel being used to quarantine travellers in the city of Quanzhou, with an investigation pointing to construction failings.

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  1. AFP

    China skyscraper wobbles, spreading panic in downtown Shenzhen