Saturday, February 23, 2019 | ePaper
Dhaka, besides being one of the most densely populated cities in the world, is cramped with thousands of unplanned and dangerous buildings and other infrastructure built in violation of the national building code. Meanwhile, multiple studies have found that Dhaka sits on top of an active fault line, leaving it extremely vulnerable to earthquakes.
The Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief has already identified 72,000 buildings that are in harm's way. Whether we like our situation or not, we should definitely be prepared for a major disaster.
A big earthquake might result in tonnes of urban debris being scattered all across the city, severely impeding rescue and relief operations. If the Rana Plaza tragedy has taught us anything, it is that our disaster preparedness is nearly non-existent. And we do not even have sufficient equipment or trained rescue personnel. This does not bode well for the city. We must be prepared as far as debris management is concerned so that we could significantly reduce the number of casualties and extent of damage in case of an earthquake.
Jahidul Islam Nahid