Quake must jolt officials into action: Dhaka daily


Dhaka : The earthquake that rattled Bangladesh Sunday should be a wake-up call for authorities as vulnerability has increased manifold due to unchecked urbanisation, a leading daily said Tuesday.

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over 80 people were killed in Sunday’s quake that shook large parts of India as well as Nepal and Tibet.

The Daily Star editorially said the tremor was perhaps the strongest in recent times and “…given our location near a tectonic plate, there is no gainsaying when we might be hit with an earthquake of a more severe intensity”.

“The damages were light too, and we have only providence to be grateful to that it was not worse than 6.8 on the Richter scale.”

It wondered as to how prepared the country was to survive an earthquake of a more severe intensity than the one Sunday.

“And if there needs to be a wake-up call, what better than this.”

It said there is vulnerability to earthquakes, “much of which is due to our own follies and our indifference to public safety, and our lack of preparedness in this regard. Our vulnerability has increased manifold due the unchecked urbanisation of the major conurbations, particularly Dhaka city”.

“What we have noticed are actions that are at best perfunctory, which do not address two very important matters, that of dealing with pre- and post-earthquake phases.”

Noting that since there was no way to prevent earthquakes, “the best way to deal with it is to reduce its after-effects; by making the structures and buildings earthquake resistant”.

The editorial said the authorities must ensure that all new buildings are made appropriately earthquake-proof, and the ones that are not are retro-fitted.