Here earthquake is the deadliest disaster that strike without a warning, anytime!
History of earthquakes says they can come anytime and may revisit soon after. They hit the streets, supply lines,bridges and buildings, and damage those severely — thanks to the corrupt policymakers and greedy building owners.
Bangladesh is champion in callousness, and despite learning about the possible impact of an earthquake having its epicentre close to Dhaka, its policymakers pay no heed to the risks.
The latest study on country’s top city buildings is shocking. Conducted between February 2008 and August 2009, the first phase of Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme (CDMP) under UNDP prepared a database of all the buildings and maps of roads, electricity, water and gas pipe lines to assess possible damages that could occur during an earthquake.
The active fault studies under the survey revealed five different segments as potential to be source of earthquake in the future. Sylhet, for the Dauki fault, and Chittagong, for the Plate Boundary fault- 1, 2 & 3 in the Bay, are among the most vulnerable cities. Dhaka too is vulnerable, even in a mid-level tremor, because of its high density population and high-rise concrete structures, for the Madhupur blind fault in Tangail.
Even though Bangladesh experienced two or three severe earthquakes within the last 150 years…the possibility of a dangerous strike in the near future is rising because of the long interval since the last major tremor, say experts.
Here we need to consider that development of unplanned buildings and housing estates, many of which are set up by filling wet lands, use of substandard building materials and faulty design — thanks to corruption in the state agencies which are supposed to maintain standard through regular inspection.
In some cases, we also see government flouting rules during construction of housing projects or roads and flyovers.
We’re not ready
During earthquake, people need to come out of their houses or office and take immediate measures so that they can stay safe.
The main job starts after the disaster — conducting rescue operation and providing the injured people medical treatment. It may be disrupted if the hospital buildings are damaged in the earthquake too!
Considering the previous experiences of rescue work by the fire service, disaster management ministry personnel and the armed forces, we’ve nothing to be complacent.
Moreover, in few hours after the 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit Bangladesh, reports of buildings tilting, stampede of workers at garment factories and damage of some buildings have been pouring the the newroom. So far, two people have been killed while over 100 others injured across country.