Some 72,000 buildings in Dhaka vulnerable to quake

DHAKA: Some 72,000 buildings in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka have been classified as earthquake-prone structures, the Bangladeshi Food and Disaster Management Minister Abdur Razzak told the Parliament.

The minister gave the information referring to a study jointly conducted by the Housing and Public Works Ministry and Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, China's Xinhua news agency cited a local daily as saying on March 24.

Razzak said greater northeast Sylhet and southeast Chittagong areas are most vulnerable to earthquake, while greater northwest Rangpur and Dinajpur areas along with some other areas are also vulnerable.

He said the government has planned to hold various workshops and rehearsals for formulation of a contingency plan. The project will be implemented from 2010 to 2014, Razzak said.

"Moreover, all fire service and civil defence offices countrywide will be strengthened providing necessary equipment for recovery works. Through this process, community volunteer team will be formed at every ward," he said.

He also said that training was being imparted to 62,000 volunteers to deal with the post-quake situation while the government procured equipment worth about 690 million taka (some RM32.7 million) for the purpose.

The equipment had already been handed over to the departments concerned including fire service and armed forces to face the post- quake situation, the minister said. -- Bernama
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