Frequent earthquakes

Integrated efforts needed to tame earthquakes

Published : 02 Dec 2023 07:11 PM | Updated : 02 Dec 2023 07:11 PM

Earthquakes continued shaking different parts of the country since long, reminding us of the need to be prepared for a larger one that can strike at any time.

A 5.6 magnitude earthquake jolted different parts of the country including the capital on Saturday morning.The quake was felt in Chattogram, Rajshahi, Sylhet, Rangpur, Chuadanga, Noakhali, Kushtia and other parts of the country.

According to the United States Geological Survey, USGS, the epicenter of the earthquake is 8 km east-northeast of Ramganj upazila in Laxmipur district.Many people came out of their houses in fear during the earthquake.

The frequent earthquakes have also created panic among the people of the country as experts are suspecting that these are mild tremors ahead of a big one. The country’s Sylhet, capital Dhaka and port city Chattogram area are highly vulnerable to earthquake. 

Many buildings of the big cities have become dangerous for dwelling due to poor constructions as these were constructed breaching their designs and flouting the rules.And most buildings have not been constructed and designed to withstand earthquakes.

Experts are suspecting

 that these are mild

 tremors ahead of a big

Besides, underground gas pipelines and narrow lanes have turned the situation especially in old part of the cities into dangerous areas.As the earthquakes cannot be predicted, we think the government in association with the experts will device disaster plan that how people could communicate in an emergency.

The government and different non-government organisations will also have to build strong awareness among the people how and in what way they can save their lives if the earthquake hit their locality.Besides, experts on several occasions cautioned that the violation of building codes and defiance of safety issues during the construction of high-rises put thousands of people's lives at risk.

We are very concerned that such unplanned urbanisation, the violation of building codes, carelessness and a lack of supervision by the authorities would also deteriorate the situation if earth quack jolts there. With so many vulnerable buildings in these cities including capital Dhaka we fear that many people may die if a strong earthquake hits them.  The government will have to achieve good progress in earthquake preparedness in this regard.

Earthquakes, floods, storms -- the country is not adequately prepared to face increasing disasters. Community-based adequate early preparedness alongside ensuring efficient emergency response management systems could reduce risks of natural disasters, loss of human lives. Apart from these, the government agencies, including Rajuk must be strengthened to stop the construction of risky buildings as well as retrofit or remove the old risky buildings.Therefore, we think as recurrent tremors of small magnitudes indicate a bigger earthquake the government will have to take defensive measures alongside building awareness. Regular mock exercises for facing earthquakes will have to be made. And an initiative for increasing consciousness of the people will also have to be taken. Bangladesh did not face any major earthquake in recent past, so the exercise will play an effective role in assessing and meeting prevailing shortcomings as regard organisational capacity.