Sydney: Australia's iconic Sydney Opera House, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, was cordoned off by police on Thursday with people cleared from the landmark amid reports of a "security threat".
Police operations were reportedly underway in the Sydney Opera House area. According to media reports, the forecourt of the Opera House was evacuated at around 2 pm (local time) and police erected metal barriers.
All tours of the Opera House were also reportedly cancelled for the day and ferries were either delayed or cancelled.
Police descended on the Sydney Opera House following information posted on social media, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Crowds were told to leave the area as officers searched the landmark for an undisclosed object, the report said.
A New South Wales Police spokesman was quoted as saying police were taking precautions after a threat was received about an object inside the Opera House.
"It's a search for an object. There was a threat and we have to take it seriously," the spokesman said.
A Sydney Opera House employee posted an internal email to Reddit from the Head of Security, Emergency Planning and Response which said all performances and tours had been cancelled while employees were allowed to stay inside, the report said.
"Colleagues, A security threat has been received by NSW Police which they advise may involve the Opera House. Police are on site currently assessing the situation. The site has been closed to the public," the email said.
A police operation was also underway in Manly area of New South Wales, reports said.
The operation in Manly has been going on for a while, a police spokeswoman was quoted as saying.
"There's nothing sinister that has been found at this stage," she said.
Some reports also suggested that the operations could be the result of a hoax.
The bars below the Opera House were also closed and tourists were gathering around Circular Quay.
There were also reports that surrounding Botanical Gardens area may have been evacuated near the Opera House.
First Published On : Jan 14, 2016 12:51 IST