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Monday, September 19, 2011
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6.8 Sikkim quake jolts Bangladesh

Causes widespread panic; no major loss

EVENING SHOCK: People run out their buildings and gather on the streets as a 6.8 magnitude earthquake sends a wave of panic across the capital and elsewhere in the country yesterday. The photos have been taken on Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue and Green Road.Photo: STAR

A 6.8 magnitude earthquake jolted the country yesterday evening, prompting thousands of panic-stricken people to rush out into the street from their homes.

The quake that was felt for nearly two minutes from 6:40:47pm had its epicentre in Sikkim, India. It was the strongest tremor to have hit the region in the last six decades.

The tremor damaged a number of buildings and structures in parts of the country. However, no casualty was reported.

Met officials in Dhaka said the earthquake's epicentre was nearly 495 kilometres north-west of the capital and the depth of the hypocentre was 20.7km.

"I rushed out into the street from my house when our building started to tremble. I had never experienced anything like that," said Mahmud, a trader at Suvastu shopping mall on Elephant Road.

The mobile-phone network had remained jammed in parts for several minutes after the tremor, as panic-stricken people called their loved ones to enquire about them.

A building in Bogra's Satmatha area tilted slightly as the earthquake hit the town, reports our Bogra Correspondent.

The tremor also damaged at least 20 makeshift houses in Natore.

Thousands of nervous people hurried out of their homes into the street in fear of aftershocks in Rajshahi, Lalmonirhat, Barisal, Brahmanbaria and Chapainawabganj.

Four rental power plants in Tangail, Thakurgaon, Jessore and Syedpur went off for nearly 30 minutes on impact of the quake, said Saiful Hasan Chowdhury, director of public relations department of the Power Development Board.

Nearly 300 miners at Baropukuria coal mine remained trapped for about 20 minutes for power failure caused by the quake. They were rescued after power supply was restored, reports our Dinajpur correspondent.

Prof Mehdi Ahmed Ansary said the capital did not face any widespread damage as the earthquake's epicentre was far away and its hypocentre was 21 km below the surface.

Many buildings would have been damaged in the capital and elsewhere if the tremor had recorded a 7.5 magnitude with a higher depth of its hypocentre, he said.

Giving an example, Mehdi said a 7.5 magnitude tremor jolted the Mexico City in 1985 damaging all high-rises in the city. The earthquake's epicentre was in the sea -- nearly 700 km off the city, he said.

Mehdi said there are lands that had been developed by filling up wetlands. The buildings built there are highly vulnerable to earthquake.

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Your reports should make it clear that the 6.8 Richter measurement was in Sikkim. By the time it reached Bangladesh, 500km away, the level gets substantially reduced. So, contrary to your opening statement, 6.8 magnitude earthquake did not actually hit Bangladesh. If that level really hit Dhaka, the impact would have been catastrophic. Please revise your news reports.

: Shabbir Parvez

What Rajuk has done about the buildings those supposed to be demolished? Can The Daily Star run a follow up story on this issue which really vital in context of the earthquake; what would happen if the epicenter was nearer!

: Rana Chowdhury


  • Shubhro Ahmed
    Monday, September 19, 2011 09:46 AM GMT+06:00 (229 weeks ago)

    To the people who are clamoring for underground excavation, please read this portion of The Daily Star news on earthquake.

    Nearly 300 miners at Barapukuria coal mine remained trapped for about 20 minutes for power failure caused by the quake. They were rescued after power supply was restored.

  • Dr Karim
    Monday, September 19, 2011 07:14 AM GMT+06:00 (229 weeks ago)

    I was watching a TV channel of west Bengal named Tara where experts was talking live after 2hrs of earthquake with an emergency inquiry and lifeline phone numbers stopping other programmes.

    At the same time six TV channels of Bangladesh couldn't accumulate any experts, any emergency phone number

    That shows we are far behind them and not for the People and dramas and singing,ads was continuing in full swing. Are we ready for disaster management? Answer is negative.

  • Mohammed Shah Alam Khan, Canada
    Monday, September 19, 2011 04:05 AM GMT+06:00 (229 weeks ago)

    Bangladeshis must be alert for the next and Rajuk must take care from now for the building construction, it must protect from earthquake.

  • Independent Thinker
    Monday, September 19, 2011 04:02 AM GMT+06:00 (229 weeks ago)

    World is growing in endless sin. Bangladesh govt are killing

    innocent people naming them fundamentalists Muslims or Mujib killers. Innocent students were killed. Robberies & dishonesty every where. Almighty Allah warned people to witness many countries destroyed for their sins. Stop killing innocent religious people.

  • Zashim
    Monday, September 19, 2011 03:56 AM GMT+06:00 (229 weeks ago)

    As part of our preparation to tackle future earthquake, Rajuk has lots to do. Every house needs to have emergency way out, every building should keep a specific area where people can stand safe in case of any earth quack or fire. Rajuk is to maintain minimum standard for every building earth quack can not causes damage. Local government authority needs to initiate programme to let people known what to do during or after earth quack. Over all, government's specific and special direction will definitely save us in the future.

  • Md.Mosharrof Hossain
    Monday, September 19, 2011 01:13 AM GMT+06:00 (229 weeks ago)

    We should take precautionary measure's for the quake.

    Monday, September 19, 2011 12:41 AM GMT+06:00 (229 weeks ago)

    It was terrible & horrible which created panic ever experienced in my life.

  • Md. Arifur Rahman
    Monday, September 19, 2011 12:39 AM GMT+06:00 (229 weeks ago)

    The magnitude that felt by Bangladesh is not mentioned. It makes confusion with the magnitude 6.8 which occurred in Sikkim. It should make clear to the public.

  • Saidul Islam, Teacher of Al-Hera, Mirsari.
    Monday, September 19, 2011 12:26 AM GMT+06:00 (229 weeks ago)

    Bangladesh is likely going to face a huge natural disaster in the coming days. Climatologists have been warning us for the last few yeas. In particular, the port city, Chittagong is under the threat of earthquake. We should be careful as soon as possible. The whole world where is thinking how to tackle the natural calamities, here we are busy with our political interest and trying to settle down our power to grasp everything like giants. We should keep in mind, at first we have to protect our country from this situations. We know that there is no hand of anybody on it. But we can take necessary steps to minimize this. It is high time our government took effective measures to save our people from alarming earthquake. In the capital we built a lot of high rise buildings. But no rule was followed at the time of planning it. On the other hand, In Chittagong, we should be careful about earthquake so that people cant take preparation if it occurs. In India a few people have been killed. It is shocking news.

  • RumonN
    Monday, September 19, 2011 10:11 AM GMT+06:00 (229 weeks ago)

    Such natural calamities can at least make us think that we are mortal! We are very busy and have no time to think of death and life hereafter. There will be frequent earth quake when the 'hour' will approach. So all of us should always remain ready for death.

  • Anonymous
    Monday, September 19, 2011 01:20 AM GMT+06:00 (229 weeks ago)

    Mexico City experienced a 5.2 tremor in May 1985. Turned out that it was pre-quake to the 8.1 earthquake that struck in September and which was hugely devastating. Dhaka needs to prepared, we've been hearing that a major earthquake is due in our region.

  • Sohel Ahmed
    Monday, September 19, 2011 11:19 AM GMT+06:00 (229 weeks ago)

    There is nothing much any one can do if a quake with a magnitude of 7 to 7.5 and above rocks Bangladesh and Dhaka as the city's 80% area is developed in an unplanned way. To minimize the casualties, the government should enact a law for all the TV channels private and Govt. To broadcast safety measures when an earth quake sticks. The fire brigade has made a sort movie what to do during the tremor and this should be shown in every private TV channels before, during and after any sorts of news, drama, talk show and musicals and they should if required cut down few commercials. This will educate the citizens and help save many lives. All the shopping malls to Continuously broad cast this from the hour they open till the closing on separate TV screens in each and every floors.

  • Nasarullah
    Monday, September 19, 2011 10:59 AM GMT+06:00 (229 weeks ago)

    It seems due to various reasons the trend increasing of natural calamities is on the high sight and over the last couple of years the several numbers of strong earth quakes jolted the many countries including Bangladesh.

    The last evening, shocked once again reminded us, are we prepared to face such deadly calamities?

    Over the years, the Dhaka city has been expanding with the increase of population, multistory high-rise buildings, unplanned city development, illegal construction, other utility services and poor construction of apartments ignoring building construction codes by the many rapidly growth unscrupulous unskilled technically sound developers , have put millions of city dwellers under extreme vulnerable position, risk and uncertainty to face, the panic of such scenarios were reflected yesterday evening, while thousands of frightened people rushed on the street to save themselves.

    It has clearly given us an alarm that we are not safe and now we need to prepare ourselves to face such natural calamity and with immediate effect. We need to development upgrade our civil defense department with adequate proper equipments, training and manpower to face and deals with including increase numbers of volunteers, NGO communities to assists with proper training and guidance.

    amage and destruction of earthquakes .

    Above all , we expect Rajuk make all efforts to enforce maintaining building codes , laws and rules for any large and small construction within the city areas without further delay.

  • Advocate M Saiful Alam
    Monday, September 19, 2011 12:59 PM GMT+06:00 (229 weeks ago)

    Allah saved our country. Otherwise, situation could be massacre.

  • Tixmna
    Monday, September 19, 2011 03:19 PM GMT+06:00 (229 weeks ago)

    What a funny! All TV channels are showing that 6.8 magnitude quake hit the city? We are astonished. How are we in room in 6.8? None makes it clear to mass. When the city is drowned in panic, then the channels are busy with their commercials!

    Who are for the people?

  • Ahmed
    Monday, September 19, 2011 03:47 PM GMT+06:00 (229 weeks ago)

    There are four earthquake observation centres in Bangladesh. Till today they cannot tell us what was the reading they recorded in their seismograph. 6.8 was felt in Sikkim. What was real tremor reading in Dhaka or other parts of Bangladesh?

  • Nusrat
    Monday, September 19, 2011 04:21 PM GMT+06:00 (229 weeks ago)

    Actually our country's devices are broken to figure out how big the quake was in Bangladesh yesterday. I think the government was not ready for it and they did nothing to fix the devices. Because from yesterday till now we still do not know what was the actual measurement that hit our country.

  • Tas
    Monday, September 19, 2011 07:06 PM GMT+06:00 (229 weeks ago)

    Excellent report. Hope Bangladesh is taking strong precautionary measures as far as building regulations are concerned. All political parties in our motherland must cooperate on this important issue.

  • Nuvo
    Monday, September 19, 2011 01:23 PM GMT+06:00 (229 weeks ago)

    The 6.8-magnitude earthquake did not hit Bangladesh. Actually it hit at Sikkim, that is why it did not impact Dhaka greatly.

  • OpeeMonir
    Monday, September 19, 2011 12:58 PM GMT+06:00 (229 weeks ago)

    Definitely it did not hit 6.8 on the Richter scale centring Dhaka city, but it should hit the hearts & minds of all the people who have the ability to think. Time has come to act and do something to prepare for such natural calamities. We have something to ponder.

  • Imohiuddin
    Monday, September 19, 2011 01:07 AM GMT+06:00 (229 weeks ago)

    I never felt fear like that in the past. During earthquake I just thought I was dizzy from a headache.

  • Judith Jacksosn
    Monday, September 19, 2011 06:49 PM GMT+06:00 (229 weeks ago)

    Our Prayers are with the people of Bangladesh.

  • Shabbir Ahmed, Labuan, Malaysia
    Monday, September 19, 2011 08:37 PM GMT+06:00 (229 weeks ago)

    We share the anxiety and panic as they did as shown in the pictures here. However, we also thank Almighty for no loss of lives caused to our families and fellow countrymen so far.

  • Ashequr
    Monday, September 19, 2011 09:09 PM GMT+06:00 (229 weeks ago)

    A real magnitude 7.5 earthquake will flatten the entire country if it were to hit.

  • Anonymous
    Monday, September 19, 2011 11:07 PM GMT+06:00 (229 weeks ago)

    We should be more and more prepared for an earthquake as our country unfortunately happens to be in the list of most vulnerable ones to earthquake. The government should be more strict and stringent in putting into effect the building codes and regulations.





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