80pc of Bangldesh population under quake threat

80pc of Bangldesh population under quake threat

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Dhaka – Seventy percent of the total land area of Bangladesh is vulnerable to earthquake risk and 80 per cent of the total population under earthquake threat.
Besides, 61% areas of the country are in flood risk, 23% flash flood risk, 46% drought risk and 32% under risk of cyclones, storm surge and salinity across the country, experts said on Sunday.
Creation of awareness among the people and advanced preparedness could reduce casualties during natural disasters, speakers also observed.
Experts and speakers made these comments while addressing at the ‘National Convention on Disaster Management 2017’ organized by the ministry of disaster management and relief held at the city’s Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) yesterday.
Among others, disaster management and relief minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, chairman of parliamentary standing committee on disaster management and relief ministry Dhirendra Nath Shambhu, vice chancellor of Asia Pacific University Professor Jamilur Reza Chowdhury, lawmakers Talukder Abdul Khaleq, Abdur Rahman Badi, disaster management and relief secretary Md Shah Kamal, additional secretary Sttayabrata Shaha and director general of disaster management directorate Md Riaz Ahmed also spoke at the convention.
Professor Jamilur Reza Chowdhury in his keynote paper said, “around 88,000 people will be killed if a strong earthquake jolted at 2 am, while 61,000 will be killed if it happens at 2 pm in Dhaka.”
He said that at least 95,000 people will lose life in Chittagong if a strong quake jolted at 2 am, or 73,000 if it happened at 2 am. Besides, 10,000 and 6,000 will be killed kill in Sylhet if such an earthquake jolted at the same time, he added.
About 28 million people are living now in Zone-3 (Sylhet, Mymensingh and Rangpur) which is liable to severe damage to a possible earthquake, Prof Chowdhury said.
Another 80 million people living in Dhaka and Chittagong liable to moderate damage, he added.
It is needed to adopt and strictly enforced Bangladesh National Building Code to avoid casualties from natural disasters like earthquakes, he observed.
He also suggested: identify and retrofit the existing weak buildings immediately.
“Now six seasons of the country have changed due to climate change. We are now experiencing advance flood including flash flood,” Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya said.
It is needed to reduce the damages caused by natural disasters at minimum level to turn the country into middle income by 2021, the minister said. – Staff Reporter

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