Experts have spoken to demystify the 72-storey swaying skyscraper in China’s Shenzhen City. On Thursday, Chinese authorities said the SEG Plaza, which swayed sideways earlier in May, was the result of winds that induced vibrations on its rooftop mast intended to protect the building from lightning and serve as a guide for aircraft.

The 20-year old building has been considered safe after Chinese experts have thoroughly investigated and assessed the structure and suggested the removal of the aging mast. To avoid a repeat of the incident, structure experts have advised the use of other equipment in providing the same function to replace the mast.

According to the Global Times, vibrations have been recorded from the said building 21 times between May 18 to 20. The mast had undergone physical changes attributed to an aging structure, which caused the vibrations of the 355 meter-high skyscraper, prompting building occupants to evacuate and citizens to avoid the plaza perimeter.

On May 18, occupants and residents in one of China’s tallest buildings were sent fleeing in panic as the building started to shake and sway. Pedestrians within the area went on a near stampede as they scrambled to safer grounds.

The U.S. Consulate housed in the nearby city of Guangzhou issued an advisory urging US citizens to stay away from the building and its immediate surrounding area while investigations were underway and authorities have declared the building safe.

While structure experts investigate and assess the building, management has since sealed off the plaza and temporarily evacuated its residents. The local government made arrangements to afford its commercial tenants additional business spaces to allow them to return to normal operations while the building awaits an all-clear certificate. 

The SEG Plaza ranks 72 in the world’s tallest buildings to date. In China, it stands as the country’s 21st tallest with 72 floors and four basement levels allotted for parking space as well as a top floor helipad. Its first 10 floors house an electronics market with office spaces occupying most of the floors. 

The 11th floor is a designated refuge floor while European restaurants, and food supply for building administration occupy the 12th floor. Office spaces can be found from floors 13 to 69  with three floors dedicated for emergency equipment and shelter levels. The building also boasts of its observation decks found on the 70th and 71st floors.

China's landmark building SEG Plaza This picture shows the 300-metre SEG Plaza in Shenzhen in China's southern Guangdong province on May 19, 2021, a day after it triggered widespread panic when it began shaking and was evacuated. Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images