Author Topic: Dhaka vulnerable to earthquakes due to unplanned urbanization  (Read 1808 times)

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Dhaka vulnerable to earthquakes due to unplanned urbanization
« on: August 26, 2010, 10:45:31 PM »
Earthquake poses a serious threat to people living in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka city where a moderate earthquake may cause huge loss of lives and property, leading English-language newspaper The Daily Star reported on Thursday quoting experts.

Mehdi Ahmed Ansary, vice-president of Bangladesh Earthquake Society, was quoted as saying that a tremor measuring 7 magnitude on the Richter scale may destroy about 35 percent buildings and kill around 25,000 people.

Ansary, also professor of civil engineering at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet), blamed the risk on unplanned urbanization and construction of buildings defying the building code, the newspaper said.

He said depending on what time of day earthquake strikes, 22,000 to 28,000 people might perish in structural collapses while the number of seriously injured may range between 86,000 and 107,000.

Ansary, who conducted a survey on Dhaka city with a group of his students during 1999-2007, said the direct economic loss from an earthquake of 8 magnitude is estimated at 1.76 billion U.S. dollars for Dhaka.

According to a UN study conducted in 1999, Dhaka is the world's most earthquake vulnerable city followed by Tehran, ASM Maksud Kamal, an expert on earthquake and tsunami preparedness, was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

Kamal said about 90 percent buildings in the capital are non-engineered, which is very risky even for a moderate earthquake.

According to geologists, the topsoil condition of Dhaka city, divided into two types, is not structurally fit to bear the load of the ongoing jumbled growth of concrete structures.

If a major earthquake shook the capital and its periphery, most parts of the city might experience a trail of destruction, they fear, according to The Daily Star.


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