Earthquake in Bangladesh and Advanced Precautionary Measures
Muhd. Iqbal Hussain Sharif :
We all know, as per the experts’ views, Bangladesh is under the serious threat of an Earthquake, which might occur right now or within the next few years. There might be a serious Earthquake most shortly or not, but as per the past records, there is certainly maximum possibility of such Earthquake/s in the near future in Bangladesh. Though it is beyond human control till today to stop this natural calamity or to give signals at least 10 Minutes’ Time in advance, but I do strongly believe, you all would agree, its losses could certainly be minimized significantly and the innocent human lives could be saved if the following measures are considered by the Government on PRIORITY basis :-
01. To advertise regularly on TV and in the National Daily Newspapers to create Awareness amongst the People.
02. While advertising on TV & Newspapers, the following points may please be highlighted :-
i) During the Earthquake, if it is a 02-storied Building and above, the Residents/People must stay inside the Building and should stay under the main Frame of the Doors, in any Corner of the Building and under the Wooden Tables / Khats, etc, which are not easy to break. They might come out from the building ( provided the same is a One-storied building and one could come outside the building within a few seconds’ time only ) and stay in an open field ( not under or near any Tree or Building, as those may collapse also ).
ii) Residents must keep themselves far away from the Glass Doors & Windows, as the broken glass might injure or even kill them.
iii) For emergency, all the residents must keep one First-aid Box in every Building, Apartment, Office, Shop, which should have : a) Required Painkiller Tablets ; b) Bandage ; c) Scissor ; d) Blade ; e) Dettol ; f) Torch Light with extra New Batteries ; g) Microphone / Loudspeaker / Whistle [to call for help, if necessary] ; h) Big Candles ; i) Safety Matches, etc., etc., which should be kept in a safer place ( but within reach at any time ) of the Residence/Shops/Office and be examined twice per month.
iv) Also, there should be sufficient reserved Dried Food like : a) Chira ; b) Muri ; c) Chips ; d) Biscuits ; e) Dates ; f) Goor/Sugar ; g) Bottled Mineral Water ; h) Hot Water in a Flask, etc. in every Building, Apartment, Office, Shop for minimum 07 days’ stock, so that in case of emergency, they do not need to remain hungry and die without Food & Minimum Treatment Facilities. This stock should also be examined in each week and be kept in the safest place and also within the reach on demand.
v) Sufficient Laminated 01-Page to 02-Page Booklets be printed on Emergency basis mentioning the above mentioned suggestion/information in order to distribute the same throughout the Country through the Schools & Colleges.
03. To ensure that the New Construction Works are done as per our present Building Code, which might be ensured through RAJUK or by creating any other new Organization. In case of any violation or negligence, the concerned Person/s and the Companies be fined for minimum Tk.50 lac and jailed for minimum 25 ( Twenty-Five ) years ( in case of Person ) or both depending upon the nature of crime.
04. Very old and Unplanned/Unauthorized Buildings be demolished and or reconstructed shortly at the initiative of the Govt. and the Civil Society including the Printing & Electronic Media.
05. The Residents of those demolished Buildings be moved and rehabilitated in a safer place with all the basic facilities of life at the costs of the Govt.
06. All the Schools, Colleges, University Authorities throughout Bangladesh be advised to train their Students as a part of their Class to create such awareness.
07. The Army, BDR, Police, Red Crescent and Civil Defense Authorities be also asked to arrange Demonstrations as and when required ( but at least once per 03 months ) to train their own People as well as our common Public.
08. Sufficient Rescue-equipments be arranged in advance from different sources to face any such emergencies and the required People be Trained ( who would operate those Rescue-equipments ) in advance as well.
I strongly believe, the Point Nos. 01, 02, 06, 07 & 08 could be executed shortly as a Short Term & Mid Term programs from now on, while the Point Nos. 03, 04 & 05 may please be considered as a Long Term Policy, which Plan has to be taken now and be implemented as soon as possible ( but in any case, not more than one year ).
It is necessary to mention here that I was in California, USA from November, 1988 to April,1992, which is the highest earthquake zone in the USA. It is said that due to this earthquake, entire California State would go under water of the Pacific Ocean within a certain period of time and everyday, there is earthquake there. But still, the People are safe there, loss of life is very rare and the ratio of Migration has been increasing at the highest rate than the other States of America due to the Public Awareness.
Now it is the highest time for our Bangladesh Govt. and her People to decide, what to do and what not. Should we decide after our Citizens’ deaths or now, before the 70% destruction of our Cities & loss of Millions of human lives ? Do we need our Government or someone to send “Condolence Messages” after the “Deaths of our Millions of People” or the “Destructions of their Assets”, when there is ample scopes to reduce such risks much in advance ? The answer is in our minds, Let’s please give a light there.
N.B. :- This write-up was first sent to H.E., The Chief Adviser, Caretaker Govt. of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh on Wednesday, November 14, 2007 at 1.18 PM and also on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 7.19 AM with copies to the Print media, but no reply has yet been received from anyone of them.
The concerned E-mail addresses were :-
Subject : Earthquake & the related Precautionary Measures to be taken in advance.
Updated on Friday, October 10, 2008