At the start of the Fall semester 2011-2012, the Lecture Series took off with a very timely and relevant topic on Earthquake Hazards and Vulnerability of Bangladesh. A renowned Professor and expert on the subject was invited in the person of Prof. Dr. ASM Maksud Kamal. He is at present an international and national earthquake specialist/consultant of UNDP and a Professor of the Department of Geology, University of Dhaka. The synopsis of his lecture is as follows:
Earthquake Hazard and Vulnerability of Bangladesh
Paleoseismic information, inventory of historical earthquakes and recent seismic disturbances in and around Bangladesh reveal that the region is subjected to potential earthquake hazard. It is observed that seismic gaps develop across the tectonic belt of Bangladesh and surroundings. Under the Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme (CDMP) of the Ministry of Food and Disaster Management (MoFDM), seismic risk assessment has been investigated of the country giving specific attention to the exposures of Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet city area. Both the deterministic and probabilistic seismic hazards have been assessed following seismic microzonation procedures. Five steps were followed to accomplish seismic microzonation of the cities such as: time predictable fault modeling, assessment of seismic hazard in term of Peak Ground Acceleration (PGA), development of fragility curves for the existing building types, assessment of vulnerability of the infrastructures and finally estimation of risk using the software known as Hazard United States (HAZUS). Three major active geological fault systems have been identified that are capable to generate potential earthquake in and around the country quantifying their tentative recurrence period and magnitude. Based on the scenario earthquakes, base rock motion of the engineering bed-rock of Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet has been estimated using green function method. Ground amplification factor has been delineated correlating the analysis of registered microtremor and other useful empirical equations. Integrating the base rock motion and ground amplification factor, maximum ground shaking in term of PGA were determined for the various soil types of Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet. The PGA value for Dhaka and Sylhet has been estimated around 500g caused by the occurrence of potential earthquake in Madhupur and Dauki faults respectively. While, the maximum PGA value for Chittagong city area has been estimated around 900g for the earthquake that could be occurred in Plate Boundary Fault (PBF-1). In order to assess the amount of risk, the vulnerability factors of all the buildings and infrastructures located in the city area were prepared developing the database in GIS. The fragility curve has been developed for all build types belonging to reinforce concrete and masonry building. Finally, combining the estimated hazard and vulnerability, the amount of risk has been assessed for the buildings and all infrastructures that include the lifelines system and other urban facilities of Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet city areas. Observations reveal that all the cities studied are under potential seismic risk if earthquake occurs in the respective fault located adjacent to city area.
Prof. Dr. Kamal presented some startling videos, data, graphs and satellite images of the causes and origin of earthquakes and its devastating effects. Before Prof. Dr. Kamal delivered his lecture cum presentation, the Lecture Series participants and guests were warmly welcomed by Prof. Dr. Tafazzal Hossain, Vice President Academics and Dean-in-Charge, FSIT. Prof. Dr. Md. Faruque Hossain, Faculty of OM Department of AIUB and a good friend of the speaker introduced Prof. Dr. Kamal citing his outstanding professional career. The lecture cum presentation elicited interesting comments and questions from both the faculty and students. Prof. Dr. Kamal responded elaborately using some layman’s language to better understand the technical context of the lecture. In recognition of his very informative and interesting presentation, the university presented a Certificate of Appreciation and souvenirs from Prof. Dr. Charles C. Villanueva, Dean of the Faculty of Business Administration and Dr. Nisar Ahmed, Director of the Graduate Program.
The Fall edition of the Lecture Series ended with a brief concluding statement and Vote of Thanks expressed by Prof. Dr. Tazul Islam, Dean of FASS.