Chinese skyscraper evacuated after it mysteriously began shaking

Shenzhen, China - Shenzhen's Emergency Management Bureau is investigating the violent shaking that occurred despite no earthquakes being registered in the vicinity.

Stills from a video of the SEG Plaza tower in Shenzhen as thousands of people evacuated the shaking building.
Stills from a video of the SEG Plaza tower in Shenzhen as thousands of people evacuated the shaking building.  © collage: Twitter/dZnJUCdo4FlZqgd

Building engineers are left scratching their heads as to what caused the 76-story SEG Plaza tower in Shenzhen to suddenly start shaking on Wednesday.

Seismologists reported no nearby earthquake activity, nor were there any documented strong wind gusts. A New York Times journalist based in nearby Hong Kong tweeted that there are reports the building "tilted on its foundations."

Standing at over 1,100 feet tall when the antenna height is included, the SEG Plaza is just over 20 years old, having broken records with its rapid construction in the late '90s.

China accuses US intelligence agencies of lying in coronavirus report
China China accuses US intelligence agencies of lying in coronavirus report

The skyscraper is mostly used as for business offices, with a multi-story electronics mall at the bottom, and four floors underground for parking.

Locals took to Twitter to share that the shaking was enough to make people sick, and videos show the antennas at the top swaying precariously.

Commenters speculate that the foundation was poorly laid, or that the building might be falling into an underground subway tunnel.

Authorities will probably take a look at construction practices after this

China famously puts up skyscrapers at record rates, as its massive population fuels demand. The combination of speed as well as the sheer volume of construction projects can leave room for error.

In 2020, a hotel in Fujian Province collapsed after the owner added extra stories to the building without any checks or oversight.

Bloomberg reported as far back as 2013 that various Chinese construction companies were under investigation for using cheaper, corrosive sea sand in their concrete mixtures. The prediction was that steel in these structures would be corroded after a few decades, causing the buildings to collapse.

Cover photo: collage: Twitter/dZnJUCdo4FlZqgd

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