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Bangladesh: What will happen when the big one hits?

Source(s):  Dhaka Tribune (DT)

By Abu Siddique and Esha Aurora

Bangladesh is located on the tectonically active Himalayan orogenic belt, which has developed through collision with the Indian, Arabian and Eurasian plates over the last 30-40 million years.

Experts predict that a massive earthquake of 8.2 to 9.0 magnitude is imminent, much like the great Bengal earthquake of 1897.

A 2016 study by a team of researchers, led by Dr Michael Steckler from Columbia University, titled “Locked and loading megathrust linked to active subduction beneath the Indo-Burman Ranges”, found a new megathrust fault line that runs through Myanmar, Bangladesh and India.

Dhaka, with a population of 11 million, is the second densest city in the world with very few earthquake-resistant buildings. With development on sand-filled land in recent times, Dhaka has been consistently named one of the riskiest cities in the world for an earthquake.

This newly discovered megathrust fault happens when the Earth’s tectonic plates collide with each other and when one of the plates try to move under the other. They are known to produce some of the biggest earthquakes, like the one in 2011 in Japan and the 2004 Banda Aceh earthquake, both of which created disastrous tsunamis.

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  • Publication date 14 Nov 2017

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