Building similar to Chch's CTV evacuated

02:58, Jul 25 2013

A Blenheim building with similarities to Christchurch's doomed CTV building, is understood to have been evacuated as engineers assess its safety.

Staff from the Marlborough Primary Health Organisation (PHO), Community Law Marlborough and Classic Hits were reportedly asked to leave Porse House by engineers.

Some remained in their offices this morning, but opted to leave after the a 4.7 quake rattled the town just about 10.30am.

Porse House has similarities to Christchurch's CTV building and an assessment of its structure was ordered in February by owners T H Barnes.

The buildings had the same designer, but not the same engineer.

The CTV Building collapsed in the February 2011 earthquake, costing 115 people their lives. 

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Classic Hits breakfast presenter Scott Radovanovich said he had chosen to stay in his studio, along with a reporter up from Christchurch, in order to continue to broadcast updates.

''That shake at about 11am made us get out though,'' said Mr Radovanovich.

''It was pretty intense. The building was moving and the lights were swaying about six to eight inches [15cm - 20cm] from side to side. There was also a lot of creaking - it was pretty unpleasant.''

PHO boss Beth Tester said that she had told staff to stay and work from home today.

She did go into their offices this morning but also left at before 11am, shortly after the 4.7 magnitude quake, located 15km east of Seddon.

''I had a few things to do at the office but that last one made me decide to leave,'' Mrs Tester said.

Community Law manager Raewyn Tretheway said its offices were closed too.

Mrs Tester recalled the 5.7 magnitude quake on Friday as ''quite significant'', scaring staff and prompting a debrief.''We just took half an hour or so do a debrief and have a cup of tea, then we were back to work,'' she said.

T H Barnes chief executive John Smithies was not available for immediate comment. 

Fairfax Media