The entire country including the capital Dhaka was again jolted by an earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale on January 3. The earthquake was felt around 3:09pm in the country. Another earthquake with a 5.1 magnitude on the Richter scale jolted Bangladesh again in the wee hours after the 5.5 quake rocked the country. Such frequent tremor has created panic in the public mind as well.
US Geological Survey pinpointed the 5.5 magnitude earthquake at 19 kilometres northeast of Ambasa region of neighbouring Tripura state of India. Clocked by USGS at 3:09pm Bangladesh time, the earthquake had a depth of 36 kilometres.
An eerie calm was created when the buildings of the capital were jolted by the tremor on Tuesday afternoon. Many left the buildings immediately fearing danger and took shelter on the streets. Two people died in the fear of the earthquake in Sunamganj and many people were injured in different areas.
Earthquake is a natural disaster. Scientists are yet to find any ways to predict about the possibility of this disaster. Residential and non-residential establishments are increasing in the capital alongside the people. But a fear remains about how quality buildings are being built or those buildings will survive after being hit by major earthquake? Besides, there is no free space required to accommodate earthquake victims in the capital.
There are allegations that building codes are not followed during the construction. As a result, mild earthquake may cause heavy damage and powerful earthquake may cause tremendous loss of lives in the country. So we should construct all buildings able to face natural disaster to get rid of earthquake disaster.
Earthquake destroys lives, properties, cities and civilisations at a time. It is said that Bangladesh is at high risk of major earthquake. It cannot be wrong to say that we have nothing to face major tremor. We have no effective equipments to conduct rescue work after the earthquake. We have lack of properly trained manpower and poor technology which are not able to respond to the earthquake crisis. So the authorities concerned should pay attention to this.
This time the earthquake has given a warning although it causes no major damage in the country. Cracks are found in different parts of the country which cannot be taken as a trifling issue.
Chile is one of the major earthquake prone countries in the world. In 1960, Chile was struck by a 9.5 magnitude earthquake. Since then, Chile has constructed earthquake endurable buildings. As a result, major earthquake cannot cause heavy damage. In 2015, an 8 magnitude earthquake hit Chile, killing only 13 people. But in 2010, Haiti was struck by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake where around three lakh people were killed. So it can be said that poor establishments are behind this.
There are also worries about the establishments in Bangladesh. So we should follow the building code introduced by the government during the construction so that the amount of damage can be reduced. It is somewhat possible to avoid major disaster if we construct earthquake endurable buildings. Besides, the authorities concerned should take steps to make general people mentally prepared to face the earthquake and its consequences.
risingbd/DHAKA/Jan 5, 2017/NA/Amirul