Dhaka, April 14: At least 100 people injured and few buildings in Chittagong and Feni tilted after a strong earthquake jolted across Bangladesh, spreading panic among people on Wednesday night.
The quake with its epicentre in Myanmar measured 7.2 in the Richter scale, according to the Met Office in Dhaka.
Immediate after the quake, local police directed the inmates of tilted buildings to come out of it.
But the US Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake which struck northwest Myanmar at 7:55pm was 6.9 in magnitude.
It originated 100 kilometres north-northwest of the city of Monywa. The quake struck at a depth of 135 km, it said.
At least four among the seven admitted to Dhaka Community Hospital in the area were in critical condition, doctors said.
In Sylhet, at least 10 people came to MAG Osmani Medical College with injuries sustained as they rushed out of buildings or scurried on the streets.
Six of them were admitted with some unconscious after fainting from fear, said duty doctor Rokonuzzaman. “Some of them are heart patients.”
At least two buildings in Chittagong have tilted to their sides.
“This was a strong earthquake. Its magnitude is only rivalled by the quake in Nepal in recent times,” said Md Hanif, an official of BMD’s earthquake observatory centre.
An official of Myanmar’s meteorological department based in the capital Naypyidaw said he believed the epicentre was not in a densely populated area.
The quake struck ‘quite deep’ below the earth’s surface which is why it posed a lesser threat to infrastructure in Bangladesh, said Syed Humayun Akhter, chairman of the Dhaka University’s Geology Department.
He said the earth observatory set up in the department measured the quake at 6.9.
The USGS also maintained it was 6.9 magnitude, but Met Office in Bangladesh said it read 7.2 on Richter scale just moments after the quake.
Reuters reported that it was 7.0 but later revised it to 6.9.
BMD’s Senior Meteorologist Abul Kalam Mallik said, “Our software analysis says 7.2. The others might have a lower reading.
“Analysis from different centres may vary. A point two or point three variation is not a problem.”
“We may say it was little more than just strong.”
Witnesses say BM Shopping Centre has tilted with its length now resting on the next building, Siddik Shopping Centre.
Fire service personnel are at the scene. Another building at the city’s Jhautala called ‘Titanic’ has also tilted to one side.
Three garment workers were injured while trying to exit Majhirghat’s Symphony garments in a hurry, said Sadarghat police OC Morzina Akhter.
The Chittagong division shares a border with Myanmar.