Building code must follow

to minimise earthquake risk, say experts

Seismic zone mapping shows that large areas of Bangladesh are at high and medium magnitude earthquake risk. All organisations and individuals must follow the building code and take required preparations to deal with earthquake effects, experts opined. There are many real estate companies, who are building a huge number of sky scrapers without following the building codes.

They suggested that, regular drilling and mass awareness campaigns should be taken to make people conscious, minimise the loss of earthquake. Because of unplanned urbanisation and population density the level of risk has increased greatly due to the construction of buildings without adhering to building codes.

A private firm architect Tanjim Rahman said, “Being an earthquake prone region, Bangladesh is at a serious risk. In many ways, we are predicting frequent earthquakes.” According to recent statistics, the number of unsafe buildings across the country is more than a million. At the same time, tremors can also be caused by sudden earthquakes in neighbouring countries close to Bangladesh, analysts say.

Urban Planner Imdadul Haq of Green Building Limited mentioned that, “In this case, government supervision is needed during construction of new buildings.” According to a study by the Bangladesh Engineering University, a 7 magnitude earthquake will kill about two to three lakh people in Bangladesh. Repeated earthquakes remind us how unprepared we are to cope with disasters, he added.

He also mentioned that, the number of skyscrapers in the capital is increasing day by day. Buildings must be built in accordance with the Building Code. Many buildings may collapse in case of slightest tremor. In addition, necessary preparations should be taken to deal with disaster after earthquake. Apart from that, experts suggested that, trained volunteers need to be created. There should be widespread campaign for public awareness.

The drilling practice will play an effective role in determining deficiencies in organising skills, utilising equipment, conducting training and coordination among all.