When there is a small earthquake, everyone gets scared. There is no question of repeated earthquakes on the same day. A few days ago, eight earthquakes were felt in the Sylhet area, which caused great panic in the minds of the people. Dhaka is not far from Sylhet. So panic spread among the people of Dhaka. A magnitude 6.1 earthquake on the morning of November 26 shook the whole country including Dhaka and one day after it disturbed the sleep of the people. It originated at 5:48 in the morning in the Hakka hills of Myanmar. (Daily Ittefaq 26.11.2021). The next day it also had its source in Hakha area. As a result, four multi-storey houses have collapsed in Chittagong city. In one village of Chapainawabganj, forty brick houses, half-baked and half-baked, have been demolished. People in Rangpur and Rajshahi also got out of bed in panic. Things have created an atmosphere of great panic. Because, the news of the destruction of the village house as a result of the earthquake has never been known before. So did the terrible words of the seismologists begin to bear fruit? What should we do in this case?
Fear of earthquakes is as noticeable in our country as it is in the developed world. In the age of extreme technological advancement, wise people have resorted to various strategies to prevent major natural disasters. Yet man is extremely helpless to nature. The whole world is currently going through a turbulent time due to the collapse of such a corona. But people are stubborn. One has to find a suitable way to deal with any natural disaster. As Japan, known as the land of earthquakes, has done.
The island of Japan has many dormant and fiery volcanoes. As a result, there are more or less earthquakes almost every day somewhere. I was in Japan for five and a half years for higher education. At first I was very scared when I got a little shake of the earthquake. If there was an earthquake during the seminar or class, the attention would be diverted. But I looked at everyone around them and saw that they were impassive. As if nothing happened. They have been taught in school what to do immediately in the event of a major earthquake. Homes, offices, classrooms all have separate additions of wood-plywood to the walls. There is no fear of suddenly opening something and falling on the head. Each room has a fire extinguisher. Moreover, if a smoke detector detects fire or smoke, the siren will sound automatically. When the magnitude of the earthquake is high, the power connection is turned off automatically.
My two-room family dormitory was quite large and high. We lived on the eighth floor and took the elevator there. One day while cooking, there was a big earthquake. It was as if the building had collapsed. Electricity and gas connections were cut off automatically. However, the building also stood up straight as usual. Later I came to know that the building has been made to withstand 8-9 magnitude earthquake. After a while, when the electricity was switched on, I saw a magnitude 8 earthquake on TV. Cracks have been seen somewhere in the road. Tsunami warning was issued for nearby beaches. A few moving vehicles fell off the road. Besides, the common man was not harmed. Due to the high probability of earthquakes, the Japanese are doing a lot of research on their own safety and taking action accordingly, surviving this catastrophic disaster without any loss of life or property.
Every year there are floods, sea storms, Kalavaishakhi etc. in our country. Vehicles were seen swimming on the roads of the capital due to light rain. The authorities were frustrated to find a proper solution. An earthquake is like a blow to his death.
Ignorant people expect uninterrupted happiness in the world. But in this world it is not possible at all. Disease, grief and natural disasters will come here anytime. If you prepare in advance for this, you will have the courage and opportunity to deal with it by being strong in mental strength. Then the damage is much less. This requires a lot of research, a lot of seminars, a lot of hard work and perseverance. The people have to be mentally prepared by informing the people in time about the results of those efforts. That applies to everyone from children to the elderly.
But after the incident in our country, we shout about it. Why don’t we take action first is our great weakness. The number of risky buildings in our country is more than one lakh (Jagonews24.com June 06, 2021). The number of skyscrapers is increasing across the country. Large installations in small areas increase the risk of earthquakes. Besides, earthquake zones have been created around us from inside and outside the country.
Authorities have been shaken by the recent tremors in the Sylhet area, which were felt up to eight times a day. But that is not all. Earthquake experts in our country have heard some terrible things from the media over the last few years. It is difficult to find any accountability as to why the people have not been informed about what has been done with them or why people have not been aware of them. People are getting more and more scared when they hear the terrible predictions of a sudden earthquake this year – which has made people even more vulnerable during this Corona Atimari.
For example, Environment TV, October 02, 2019, said that if there is an earthquake in Corona, people cannot be found to rescue. According to a seminar organized by the Seismic Valuability Assessment of the Building of Dhaka, a magnitude 6-7 earthquake would kill 3 million people. কম There are very few such buildings in Dhaka.
Fire will be at the root of the loss of life in the earthquake in Dhaka. The gas line will explode in the earthquake. If there is a fire due to gas and electricity, people will be burnt to death. The city will suddenly flood. People will be electrocuted if electricity falls into its water. The city will be plunged into darkness. The road will be blocked by drowning. There will be a crisis of drinking water. Ambulances, fire service vehicles will not be able to enter. (Ittefaq June 18, 2021).
The weakness of the building in Dhaka is the garage, the ground floor will collapse because there are only columns and no walls below. The weight of a building is twofold. A deadload or building’s own weight. The other is the weight of the liveload or everything else. Overseas car parking is created on any floor or roof inside the building. Huge car parking can be noticed on all the roofs of the supermarket in particular. In our country parking is done as little as possible below the market, the rest is occupied by government roads. This is one of the causes of traffic jams.
The head of BUET’s civil engineering department said that buildings in Dhaka cannot take more than 7 pressures. (Time News, June 3, 2021). There are four lakh big buildings in Dhaka. Twenty thousand landslides are expected in 6 magnitude earthquake. Bangladesh is at the junction of these three moving plates, India, Eurasia and Burma. The force of a strong earthquake has accumulated here.
June 12 marks the 124th anniversary of the 7.9 magnitude earthquake of 1897 in Assam. Every 100 years, large earthquakes return. Many are worried about whether small-scale earthquakes in Sylhet are predictable. There have been no major earthquakes in the last 500 years on the eastern edge of the Dauki Fault. So this big earthquake could have originated in Arakan, Sylhet, Dauki, and Assam too.
Earthquake forecasting techniques have not yet been developed, so unlike other disasters, there is no way to anticipate them. Just need caution. No high-rise building should be allowed anywhere in the country, including Dhaka, unless a strong earthquake-tolerant foundation is properly tested. Bribery and corruption must be stopped first and foremost to prevent fake, illegal permits. Awareness programs need to be taken up in schools like Japan to inform the children. Moreover, every school, office, mahalla should conduct earthquake awareness exercises once a month or every three months. Earthquake rescue teams with primary health care equipment need to be formed with adolescents in every area. Mandatory earthquake rescue teams should be formed in every club and everyone should be encouraged to come forward to help in one whistle in case of danger. Because, there will be no way to find the internet connection immediately. That is why the mentality-building program to respond quickly to any call on an urgent basis must be taken now and everyone must be vigilant. Then we can find the inspiration to survive without fear in the terrible predictions of our seismologists.
Author- Professor, Department of Social Work, Rajshahi University. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org