7.05 magnitude quake may kill 90,000 in Dhaka?

B’deshi capital was exposed to high tremor risk due to an existing fault near here.

Dhaka: Bangladeshi capital was exposed
to high tremor risk due to an existing fault near here, even
as the government warned that an earthquake of 7.05 magnitude
on the Richter scale will bring widespread devastation and
may kill 90,000 people.

"If a quake of that magnitude takes place at night the
number of casualties are feared to be 90,000 casualties while
the figure could be 70,000 if it hit during the day time"
disaster management minister Abdur Razzaque told parliament
yesterday quoting an official study.

He, however, said there was no sign of occurring an 8.
0 magnitude earthquake in the city but a fault existing at
suburban Madhupur, 60 kilometre off Dhaka, might cause a 7.0
to 7.05-magnitude earthquake.

The minister said there would be a loss of about USD 6
billion or half of national budget for structural damage
following the quake shock while a tremor from the Madhupur
Fault would generate 30 million tonnes of debris.

The minister`s comments said as authorities earlier
this month launched a demolition campaign to flatten buildings
with faulty designs and dilapidated structures as the capital
city witnessed a collapse of one such construction claiming 25
lives and cracks were developed in several others in recent

The campaign is underway as six such dilapidated and
unauthorised structures were already demolished or being
flattened," director of regulatory Rajdhani Unyan Kartripakkha
(RAJUK) told.

He, however, added that it required a lengthy and
difficult inter-ministerial procedure to declare a building
risky but RAJUK was carrying out task of identifying the
buildings at high risk.

An inter-ministerial meeting earlier this month
decided to demolish all high-risk buildings in Dhakaas a
six-storey structure collapsed and exposed Dhakites to extreme
panic when 22-storey building developed cracks alongside the
tilting of the two other structures.

Public works minister Abdul Mannan Khan earlier said
the government also decided to take punitive actions against
owners of risky installations for violation of building codes
as unplanned development of buildings.

"In Dhaka, an earthquake from either Madhupur or Dauki
may cause severe liquefaction (a physical process of ground
failure due to quakes) effects to buildings, especially those
developed on marshy lands on the eastern and western fringes,
and even within the city in the infill areas like Begunbari,
part of Mirpur etc," Land-Use Planning Specialist Asian
Disaster Preparedness Centre Anisur Rahman recently said in an
published newsaper article.


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