MALACCA: Some 300 people were evacuated from the Federal Government complex in Ayer Keroh here when cracks appeared on certain floors as well as pillars at the entrance of the building.
The order to evacuate was issued after cracks appeared on the floor of a dining hall on the fourth floor where a tea-party was being held, followed by a loud cracking sound at about 2.30pm.
Officers of the National Security Council ordered a full evacuation at 4pm.
Cracks also appeared on the third and fourth floors of the four-storey building which houses the National Drug Agency and Immigration Department respectively.
Fire and Rescue Department officers were summoned to investigate the safety of the building.
Melaka Tengah Deputy OCPD Superintendent Muhammad Koay Abdullah said the people at the tea-party were shocked by the loud cracking sound.
"Preliminary investigations reveal that only 300 people were inside the building at the time of the incident," he said, adding that 10 tiles at the dining hall were damaged.
Supt Muhammad Koay said people in the building were evacuated to an open space nearby to enable officers from the Fire and Rescue department and PWD to gauge the structural safety of the building.
He said the check revealed that the cracks were not serious and the structure of the building unaffected.
"The probe is still ongoing and the PWD will evaluate the safety of the building more comprehensively," he said.
He said all departments and agencies have been asked to operate as normal.
As a precaution, a fire engine as well as Rela officers have been placed at the site indefinitely.
The complex, which was opened in 2006, houses several agencies under the Home Ministry such as the National Registration Department, Film Censorship Board, Rela and others.