Bangladesh not prepared for rescue operation after large scale earthquake
Fire Service and Civil Defense Department is not fully prepared to face the disaster like earthquake. According to the experts, Fire Service has modern equipment but those are inadequate. Even the workers are not expert for facing large scale disaster.
But the Director General (DG) of the department Brigadier General Ali Ahmed Khan informed that Fire Service is going to be built in more modernized way.
Rana Plaza collapsed in 2013. Army, RAB, Police and Fire Service needed 20 days to remove the post collapse wreckages of only nine storey building. Question rose over Fire Service’s capability for the slow activities.
Modern equipments were added in Fire Service in 2015. Different equipments of wreckage removal after havoc including water tender of 21 thousand liters capacity were collected from China. Even after that in 2016 Fire Service’s 29 units took more than 10 hours to douse the fire of a floor of Basundhara City Complex in the capital. Besides, 22 units of Fire Service, Navy, Rover Scout and Red Crescent workers took nearly 16 hours to put out the fire that occurred in DNCC Market at Gulshan on January 3, 2017.
Over those incidents the question again rose about the capability and skill of the force. After that to increase the skill of the Fire Service officials local and international trainings were arranged. More equipments were also collected.
Fire Service Department DG Brigadier General Ali Ahmed Khan said, we are performing the rescue operation following our hardship. We have all kind of equipments light and heavy for conducting rescue operation. Trainings are being provided along with the operation.
DG of Disaster Management Directorate Md. Riaz Ahmed informed that disaster management and volunteer teams are being formed in every area in the country through local administration in association with Fire Service.
City Planner Professor Dr. Ishrat Islam said, when Fire Service faces deep difficulties to tackle an accident then what would happen if a handy number of houses collapse, that makes us worried. Our Fire Service department’s ability to rescue is limited.
Meanwhile, huge damage could be happened in the populated cities like Chittagong, Sylhet and Mymensingh including Dhaka if 8 magnitude earthquake hit those areas.
According to experts, one third establishments in the capital could collapse if large scale earthquake occurs. Particularly old Dhaka could be turned into wreckage. They said that most of the establishments are not earthquake tolerant.
Housing is expanding in Dhaka but in most cases the Building Code and other rules are not being maintained. The risk is double in Dhaka and its adjacent areas as 35 percent of those are formed with soft soil.
A research of 2009 said that 72 thousand houses may collapse if 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit Dhaka and those will be irreparable. The number will stand 3 lakh throughout the country.
US earthquake expert David Wald said after analyzing the survey results that the effect of 7.9 magnitude earthquake will be different in different countries. If 10 to 30 people die in this type of earthquake in USA then the casualties would be more than 10 thousand in Pakistan, India, Iran and China. Unplanned urbanization is the reason behind the difference.
David Wald did not mention Bangladesh’s name but urban planners think that the situation could turn worse than that. Because, the major cities of the country are being constructed without proper planning.