Three die, many injured as quake hits Bangladesh

New Age Online

A moderate tremor rattled Dhaka and other parts of the country leaving three women dead and more than hundred people injured and buildings leaned slightly Saturday noon.
Our Pabna correspondent reported, a sexagenarian woman, Rokeya Khanam Eti, wife of Sohrab Hossain, died of cardiac arrest as tremor-panic gripped her.
Rokeya Khanam was moving hurriedly on the road at Gopalpur in the town when the quake started, said Sohrab Hossain.
Suddenly she fell on the road experiencing severe pain in her chest and was rushed to Pabna Medical College Hospital.
The doctors declared Rokeya, also the president of Pabna Municipality Mahila Awami League unit, dead around 12:30pm, her husband said.
Meanwhile, over 150 students of Chatmohar Pilot Girls’ High School, Atgharia Pilot Girls’ High School, Sujanagar Pilot Girls’ High School, Pabna Ideal Girls’ High School and Pabna Central Girls’ School were injured for their attempt to escape the school buildings to save themselves from the calamity and fell sick during the earthquake. Of them, around 90 were taken to local hospitals.
A number of 30 to 40 workers of an apparel factory, Natal International, located at Ishwardi Export Processing Zone were also injured and fell sick as they were moving hurriedly to come out from the factory building. Most of them took primary treatment from Ishwardi Upazila Health Complex. A crack was found in the factory during the quake and it sparked panic among them, victims claimed.
Md Ruhul Amin, general manager of Ishwardi EPZ denied the claim.
In Bogra, a housewife, Morsheda Begum, 48, died as a wall collapsed on her after the quake at Unahata Singra in Dupchanchia around 1:00pm.
During the quake, a crack developed in the cow-shed at her house. The wall collapsed on her when she was bringing the cows out from the shed.
In Tangail, another housewife, Parina Akter, 22, wife of Sukumuddin, died of being panicked during the quake at Sayedpur in Mirzapur.
Locals said panic-stricken Parina got fainted when she saw her house shaking during the tremor. She was rushed to Kumudini Medical College Hospital where doctors declared her dead.
Besides, at least 11 students of Bhuapur Girls’ High School were injured when they were trying to get down from the second floor of the school building. They were admitted to Bhuapur Upazila Health Complex.
In Savar, at least 60 workers were hurt while rushing out from an apparel factory.
The injured were taken to the nearby clinic while 52 of them were admitted to Enam Medical College Hospital.
Witnesses said panic gripped among one thousand workers in the 10-storey building of Al Muslim Group at Ulail when the tremor shook the building.
Rozina, a worker of the factory, said,‘They were rushing towards the exit as they thought their building was going to collapse.’
Later, around 500 hundred workers of the factory blocked the Dhaka-Aricha highway for an hour as rumour of death of a worker spread out among them.
Police rushed to the spot, charged batons and fired teargas shells to disperse them.
The workers also pelted brickbats at police.
To avoid any further untoward incident, the authorities shut the factory for Saturday and declared that they would bear the medical expenses of the injured workers.
In Comilla, at least 43 workers of an apparel factory were injured while they attempted to get out of the factory building being panicked in Comilla EPZ.
They were taken to Comilla Medical College Hospital for primary treatment.
Our Khulna correspondent reported that the ground floor of a four-storey building was partly caved in while three three-storey buildings were tilted slightly.
There was no report of injury in the incidents.
In Munshiganj, a three-storey building of Barnali Fabrics Ltd was partly caved in at Char Syedpur. None was injured in the incident.
The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, expressed shock at the death of hundreds of people in Nepal, India, Bangladesh and other parts of the region in a powerful earthquake, United News of Bangladesh reports.
The nearly 30-second quake was felt by most of the people in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country around 12:15pm.
Panic gripped the people and they came out of the buildings as soon as they felt the tremor.
Many said they felt dizziness and soon realised the tremor situation.
Our Panchagarh, Kurigram, Jhenaidah and Barisal correspondents reported that people of northern and south-west part of Bangladesh also experienced such quake simultaneously.
Bangladesh Meterological Department said in its website the magnitude of the earthquake was 7.5 in Richter scale.
The distance of epicentre was 745 km north-west of BMD Seismic Centre at Agargaon in Dhaka.
An official of Met office said the quake originated from Barpak of Nepal.
However, Reuters reported a powerful earthquake struck Nepal and sent tremors through northern India on Saturday, killing hundreds of people, toppling a 19th-century tower in the capital Kathmandu and touching off a deadly avalanche on Mount Everest.
There were reports of devastation in outlying, isolated mountainous areas after the midday quake of magnitude 7.9, Nepal’s worst in 81 years, centred 50 miles (80 km) east of the second city, Pokhara.
The US Geological Survey said the quake, initially measured at 7.7 but upgraded to 7.9 magnitude, struck 80 km (50 miles) east of Pokhara. It was only 2 km deep.

(Updated)

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