China skyscraper wobbles, spreading panic in downtown Shenzhen

The 300-metre high SEG Plaza (back R) inexplicably began to shake, prompting an evacuation of people inside. AFP/Anthony Wallace

BEIJING - One of China's tallest skyscrapers was evacuated after it began to shake, sending panicked shoppers scampering to safety in the southern city of Shenzhen.

The near 300-metre 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. 

People stand near the 300-metre high SEG Plaza after it began to shake. AFP/STR

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 cause of the shaking is being verified by various departments."

It was not immediately clear how authorities will handle a dangerous building of its scale in the heart of a city of over 12 million people.

Bystander videos published by local media on Weibo showed the skyscraper shaking on its foundations as hundreds of terrified pedestrians ran away outside.


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