FE Today Logo

Letters to the Editor

Waking up to danger of a major quake

September 19, 2023 00:00:00

A mild tremor with an epicentre very close to Dhaka jolted the capital of Bangladesh recently. Another such quake was reported within the 200 kilometre radius of the city just a few days ago. It is true that no major casualty was reported from these incidents but experts have warned that the series of light tremors could be the sign of a major quake. But are we prepared enough to face such a natural disaster? It seems whenever there is an incident of earthquake, we become aware of it for some days. And then, as usual, we forget it entirely. We need to take all-out preparations before a more severe earthquake strikes us.

Many buildings in Dhaka city and elsewhere in the country are built by people who have no knowledge of architecture or structural design. They are built with advice from masons or contractors. These buildings can become death traps if a disaster strikes. And there are many age-old dilapidated buildings in the old part of Dhaka city. They pose a serious threat to life and property in case of a strong tremor.

No building in Dhaka should be allowed to be constructed without adhering to the earthquake-resistant building code. The buildings that are risky should be identified and marked by the authorities concerned. Earlier, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) suggested marking riskier buildings 'red' and less risky ones 'green'. However, this suggestion has not yet been implemented. Lessons learnt from earthquakes in other countries should be taken into account and we should make arrangements to mitigate the risks and losses in case any earthquake-like disaster strikes. Regular drills to train people on what to do during an earthquake should also be organised on a regular basis. Arranging discussion sessions at community levels such as at mosques, temples, parks and other places of a neighbourhood will also be helpful.

Abu Elias Linkon,

Banasree, Dhaka,

[email protected]

Share if you like