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Dhaka city is not likely to suffer earthquake greater than 7.5 magnitudes: Scholars

Published : Wednesday, 7 April, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 679
Observer Desk

A scholarly group of geologists and engineers of Bangladesh under the banner of Mir Moinul Huq Memorial Lecture Series, in their monthly Zoom Technical Session discussed the state of recurrence of large earthquakes in Bangladesh.
The webinar was joined by geoscientists from Bangladesh, USA, Canada, UK, Norway, Australia and other parts of the world.
Mir Fazlul Karim, PG, a Former Director of the Geological Survey of Bangladesh and presently a Consultant at the John Turner Consulting Inc., Massachusetts, USA, presented a keynote paper on "Geotechnical Portrayal of Bengal Basin for Seismic Risk Management and sustainable development in Bangladesh".
Karim carried out extensive research and fieldwork for a reliable understanding on recurrence of large earthquakes in Bangladesh.
This follows a previous prediction by a group of geoscientists of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory  of occurrence of 9 magnitude earthquake in Dhaka city and postulation of tectonic megathrust zone extending through the middle of Bangladesh.
Mr. Karim has very pointedly claimed that the published maps and estimation of 9 magnitude earthquake at Dhaka by the Columbia group are overly conjectural and without firm scientific evidences.
The prediction of 9 magnitude earthquake caused panic among the general people and increased the cost of construction of infrastructures in Bangladesh.
According to Mr. Karim Dhaka city is not likely to experience any earthquakes greater than 5.5 in a peripheral of roughly 150km.
Beyond that there are a couple of structures capable of generating earthquakes of magnitude 7.5.
The fault adjacent to Dhaka, popularly known as Madhupur fault is segmented and is not likely to be jolted by larger than 4.5 magnitude earthquake.
The Dhaka city had a strong jolt in 1918 from Srimangal earthquake of 7.5 magnitudes. The original intensity map showed less destruction than the great Assam earthquake of 8.6 magnitude caused significant damage in Dhaka to the non-engineered structures.  
There are little worries for Dhaka dwellers if they maintained standard ground testing.
The keynote lecture was followed by excellent brainstorming presentation Prof Dr. ATM Shakhawat Hussain of Jahangirnagar University's Geological Sciences Department and Prof Dr Md Zillur Rahman, of Dhaka University's Disaster Management Department.

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