Winds delay demolition of office building

11:32 am on 27 November 2016

Demolition of the quake-damaged Wellington office block due to get under way this morning has been delayed until tomorrow because of strong winds.

The building at 61 Molesworth Street, which is awaiting demolition.

The building at 61 Molesworth Street, which is awaiting demolition. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

The ten-storey building at 61 Molesworth Street is at risk of collapse in a strong aftershock after the 7.8 earthquake which struck Kaikōura.

View RNZ's full coverage of the earthquakes here.

Surrounding buildings and apartments have been evacuated.

The early stages of demolition began last week and a high-reach crane was due to begin pulling down the upper floors early this morning.

However, high winds that buffeted the capital overnight, and the decision was made to postpone the initial deconstruction.

Wellington City Council's building control officer Mike Scott said the demolition process should take a couple of weeks, after which a big portion of the street can be reopened.

Mr Scott said the crane would have a set metallic jaws, and described the process as a gradual nibbling of the building.

He said the demolition process should take a couple of weeks, after which a big portion of the street could be reopened.

RNZ has kept a running list of all the buildings in Wellington affected since the 7.8 earthquake on 14 November. Check them on the map here.

Strong winds were also responsible for cancelling a sporting event in Kaikōura yesterday.

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