Buildings evacuated in Bundaberg CBD after quake
UPDATE 3.50PM: CAMERON Gill of GHD engineering has assessed Bundaberg's Auswide headquarters and deemed to building safe following this mornings earthquake.
Mr Gill undertook a visual inspection of the building in conjunction with Auswide Bank's building maintenance manager
"The purpose of the inspection was to determine if there were any signs of structural distress as a result of the recent event," he said.
"No visible signs of structural distress, typically associated with earthquake damage, were observed.
"Modern reinforced concrete and masonry structures, such as is the case for the Auswide Bank head office, generally provide robust resistance to earthquake forces."
Auswide Bank CFO Bill Schafer advised that following Mr Gills advice staff were allowed back into and the bank resumed full operations at 11am.
Mr Schafer apologised for any inconvenience to its customers.
UPDATE 12PM: WHILE the Auswide Bank headquartes was evacuated, other Bundaberg business and community members report they didn't even notice the earthquake.
The Shoes Fringe owner Anne Canniford said she didn't feel a thing but recalled the impact the last earthquake, in February had on her Targo St shop.
"In the shop here we had earrings fall down and handbags fall down (off shelves)," Ms Canniford said.
"But no, we never felt anything this morning at all."
Ms Canniford said he shop didn't have any signs of an earthquake either.
"No, nothing, nothing's fallen over," she said.
BMAC clothing store owner Brent McLennan said he was unaware there had even been an earthquake and did not notice anything in his Bourbong St store.
Kevin and Erica Turner were pushing their 18 month old daughter in the pram along Bourbong St at the time and said they did feel the ground move of any signs of an earthquake.
UPDATE 11.20AM: ENGINEERINGS are now accessing the Auswide Bank head office building before staff are allowed to return inside following the tremors of a 5.4 magnitude earthquake.
Auswide Bank general manager of marketing and products Ray Linderberg who is also the communication coordinator for business continuity said engineers had just arrived at the scene following the earlier evacuation.
"We experienced an earthquake here about 45 minutes, a hour ago," Mr Linderberg said.
"As a precaution, we've evacuated the building which is our head office."
Mr Linderberg said the experience inside the building was different on each floor.
"The higher you were up in the building, the more it shook," Mr Linderberg said.
"There were windows rattling and pictures rattling, myself I felt quite giddy.
"But as soon as we realised what was happening, we evacuated the building."
Staff are now waiting outside the building for the engineers assessment.
"We have an engineering who's arrived and they're going to do an inspection of the building before we allow anyone to re-enter," he said.
Mr Linderberg said the Auswide Bank branch in Barolin St had also been closed.
"And we're directing our customers to our Hinkler branch," he said.
He said all staff made it out of the building safely and were now discussing their experiences among themselves.
"Some staff have been through earthquakes before so they knew what was happening but this is a new experience for others though," Mr Linderberg said.
Auswide staff member Kathryn Tucker works on the first floor of the building and said she didn't feel the earthquake but saw the blinds on the windows moving.
"Other people did feel it, they noticed the building vibrate," she said.
"People up further did (feel the earthquake)."
Lauren Segin works at the Telstra shop in the same building and said she was sitting inside with co-workers at the time.
"We could feel the building start to shake and the roof was making a bit of noise," Ms Segin said.
"Some of the girls started to freak out and wanted to run outside.
"I said 'no, don't stress' and then we were evacuated." Ms Segin said it was her first earthquake experience and one she won't forget soon.
"There was a fair bit of noise, especially through the ceilings," she said.
"And some of the girls felt like they were having a dizzy spell."
EARLIER 11AM: BUILDINGS in the Bundaberg CBD were evacuated this morning after a 5.3 magnitude earthquake was felt across Queensland.
Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery and the Auswide bank were among the businesses who sent their staff out until buildings could be confirmed as safe.
AusWide Bank general manager and disaster co-ordinator Ray Linderberg said an engineer had been brought in to check the building.
"As a precaution we've evacuated the building which is our head office," he said.
"Different people experienced different things depending on what floor."