78% of buildings at Chittagong are at earth quake risk

Posted on October 2, 2011


At least 78 percent buildings in the port city are vulnerable to earthquake, according to a research.

A region-based survey published on Saturday said some 142,000 buildings of 41 wards of the city are estimated to be dicey which include schools, hospitals and power sub-stations that are ‘most risky’.

The report, conducted by Earthquake Engineering Research Centre (EERC) under the Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (CUET), also said that mass destruction could be brought upon these buildings if an 8.5 magnitude earthquake hits the city.

The report was published at a workshop organised by Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) on ‘Earthquake Preventive Structure Building: Plan, Implementation and Structure Code-2008’.

At least 150 architects and engineers working with several firms in the city attended the workshop.

CUET’s civil engineering department dean Mohammad Jahangir Alam conducted the three-year research.

CDA chairman Abdus Salam told reporters the city’s Nagar Unnayan Committee have found several errors in the plans of the buildings to be built in the city.

“The workshop has been arranged to raise awareness following their recommendations,” he said.

According to the report, there are some 1,033 schools in 41 wards and 739 of them would be destroyed if an 8.5 magnitude earthquake is felt in the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.

The most risky schools include Chittagong Collegiate Government High School, Government Muslim High School (old), Nasirabad Government Girls’ High School, Chittagong Residential School and College and Paharika Girls’ High School and several other well-known schools of the city.

Jahangir, also the EERC director, “Compared to the infrastructure of residential buildings, educational institutions must be given more priority.

“Because, there are more people in the schools during classes rather than in residential buildings.”

He said most of the schools were built following housing structures plans violating the building code.

Moreover, all the hospitals in the city except Chittagong Medical College and Hospital are vulnerable to earthquake, Jahangir said.

The researcher said residential and hospital building plans are different. “But, most of the hospitals were built following the residential plans while all the private hospitals are in residential buildings.”

The report also said that eight of the 13 power sub-stations in the city are at risk.

Posted in: Bangladesh