State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Enamur Rahman said Bangladesh will be an earthquake-resilient country by 2071 with the technical and financial assistance of Japan.
“Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has already given us a 50-year time frame to make the country resilient to a quake. It took Japan 30 years to become an earthquake-resilient country. No building collapses in the country even after a strong earthquake. We want to be like Japan,” he said while addressing a roundtable discussion titled ‘Seismic hazard and preparedness’ organised by Bangla daily Kaler Kantho and non-government organization BRAC at the conference room of East West Media Group Limited (EWMGL) at Bashundhara Residential Area in the capital on Wednesday. Kaler Kantho Editor Imdadul Haq Milan moderated the event.About the government’s preparedness for any disaster like earthquake, the junior minister said the government has attached importance on building capacity of firefighters for rescue operation.
Speaking on the occasion, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dhaka and disaster management expert ASM Maksud Kamal said, “Bangladesh is located in the earthquake-prone region and there is a chance that mild earthquake will occur. There are 14 non-characteristic fault lines and these may be active at any time.”
The expert also said, “In terms of risk, Sylhet is the most vulnerable area which is followed by Chattogram. There are no fault lines near Dhaka, but if a quake strikes, it will cause havoc, as most of the structures have been constructed without following the building code.”
Director of Bangladesh Meteorological Department Shamsuddin Ahmed underlined the need for technological advancement for earthquake forecast.
“Bangladesh can now collect information about the epicenter with the help of its 10 broadband seismic stations. We cannot forecast the earthquake and measure its magnitude,” he said.
Fire Service and Civil Defence Director General Sazzadur Rahman and former additional secretary Abdul Qayyum, among others, spoke at the event.