Urgent preparedness needed to minimise damage and casualty from tremor


In the heart of South Asia, where the bustling metropolis of Dhaka thrives, a silent threat looms beneath its crowded streets and towering structures.

Recent seismic activities, including a 5.5-magnitude tremor, have stirred concerns among experts who warn that the densely populated capital of Bangladesh may be woefully unprepared for a major earthquake.

Situated perilously close to a geological fault line, Dhaka experiences frequent tremors, with nearly 100 earthquakes — mostly minor, ranging from 3.0 to 4.5 in magnitude — recorded in Bangladesh this year alone.

Data from the US Geological Survey (USGS) and the India Meteorological Department reveals that five of these quakes were magnitude 5 and above, underscoring the escalating risk faced by the region.

Bangladesh, it turns out, is perched on a subduction zone, where tectonic plates meet and collide.

Research indicates that the energy accumulating in these plates could unleash a seismic event exceeding 8 in magnitude, with the potential to strike at any moment.

The recent surge in tremors along the fault line serves as a forewarning — an ominous signal that a mega earthquake is, in all likelihood, inevitable.

Experts are sounding the alarm, urging the government to prioritise short-term preparedness programs aimed at educating the public on survival strategies and minimising damage during an earthquake.


While the government is indeed taking steps, experts argue that comprehensive preparedness is a time-consuming process.

Therefore, alongside long-term initiatives, there is an urgent need for awareness campaigns to empower the population with the knowledge needed to respond effectively in the event of a major seismic event.

The historical context adds weight to these concerns. The last earthquake exceeding magnitude 7.0 in this region occurred in 1869, over 150 years ago during the Cachar earthquake.

Given this timeline, the spectre of a devastating quake may be closer than anticipated.

Immediate action is crucial, and one pressing need is the construction of earthquake-resistant buildings.

The nation has developed a national building code, signalling a step in the right direction.

Implementing this code for all new constructions is imperative to mitigate the potential damages that a seismic event could inflict on the city and its inhabitants.