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Mild earthquakes jolt Bangladesh on Eid

Two mild earthquakes of 5.7 and 4.8 on Richter scale jolted north-west Bangladesh, sparking nation-wide panic today on Eid-ul-Fitr.

world Updated: Sep 13, 2010 15:55 IST

Two mild earthquakes of 5.7 and 4.8 on Richter scale jolted north-west Bangladesh, sparking nation-wide panic on Saturday on Eid-ul-Fitr.

According to the meteorological department, entire northwest and parts of central Bangladesh experienced a tremor of 5.7 reading at around 1 pm (local time), while the first quake with a magnitude of 4.8 on Richter shook most parts of the country at midnight on Friday.

There is no report of any causality although one building in Chittagong tilted, while a few suffered cracks elsewhere, an online news agency said.

People, preparing to celebrate Eid after a month-long fasting during Ramadan, came out of their houses experiencing the first tremor on Friday night. There is a growing fear among Bangladeshis of a possible major earthquake anytime.

According to the US Geological Survey, as quoted by Met department, the epicentre of the second earthquake was 46 kms off Agargaon in Dhaka. The department did not provide any further detail.

The epicentre of the first quake is supposed to located about 7 kms southwest of Dhaka.

The online version of a newspaper, however, said the second tremors occurred at Dhaleshwari fault line near the confluence of Dhaleswari-Shitalakkya rivers in central Bangladesh. The paper quoted an expert, who also feared that such kind of tremors indicate a big earthquake could hit the country in near future.

The tremors came weeks after a Minister quoting experts said an earthquake measuring 7.5 on Richter scale may kill 90,000 people instantly and destroy 72,000 buildings in Dhaka alone.

"If a quake of that magnitude takes place at night the number of casualties are feared to be 90,000 casualties while the figure could be 70,000 if it hit during the day time," disaster management minister Abdur Razzaque recently told the Parliament.

He, however, said there was no sign for an 8.0 magnitude earthquake in the city but a fault existing at suburban Madhupur, 60 kms off Dhaka, might cause a 7.0 to 7.5-magnitude earthquake.

The minister said there would be a loss of about $ 6 billion or half of national budget for structural damage following such a quake, while a tremor from the Madhupur Fault would generate 30 million tonnes of debris.

First Published: Sep 11, 2010 19:16 IST