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BNZ building badly damaged in NZ quake

Ceiling panels smashed over desks, debris blanketing the floor and equipment strewn across the room is the scene engineers are facing at New Zealand’s BNZ’s four-year-old Harbour Quays building.

 
 

CEILING panels smashed over desks, debris blanketing the floor and equipment strewn across the room is the scene engineers are facing at New Zealand’s BNZ’s four-year-old Harbour Quays building.

The damage was documented in a photograph which landed on Twitter the day after Sunday’s large earthquake, showing some of the worst internal damage seen in pictures so far from Wellington’s central business district.

On Monday, BNZ confirmed the photo was taken inside one of the levels of the building, which was completed in 2009.

BNZ’s external relations manager Emily Davies said staff were in the building at the time, but there have been no reports of injuries.

“We’ve got ceiling panels down, interior glass is broken and there’s quite a bit of water damage from the fire sprinklers that went off during the shakes,” Ms Davies told AAP.

“None of our staff have been hurt so we’re pleased that everyone is safe.”

About 1200 BNZ staff are yet to be told when they can return to work.

Officials advised Wellingtonians not to enter the CBD on Monday, while engineers assessed damage following the 6.5-magnitude earthquake that shook the capital on Sunday evening.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said while council inspectors and engineers are walking the street on Monday, building owners must arrange their own structural engineering checks if they are concerned about health and safety.

The council is advising CBD workers not to go back to work until checking with their employers.

“We have had very few injuries as a result of the earthquake, and we want to keep it that way,” Ms Wade-Brown said.

Part of the city’s port, which is on reclaimed land, has collapsed and one container has been lost into the harbour, while large cracks are visible on the port’s grounds.

Four people suffered minor injuries in the quake, including a man knocked unconscious when his TV fell on him.

Aftershocks continue to shake central New Zealand, although most are light and not felt in many areas.

 
 

 
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