Earthquakes and the built environment

The need for adaptation technology in the face of natural disasters

As agriculture in Bangladesh is heavily dependent on the weather, a little change of climate or weather patterns can have a massive impact.

Sobulen Sarder of Mongla village was leading a happy life with his wife, daughter and son. Besides his house, he had two ponds which were full of various freshwater fish. Surrounding his home were a lot of fruit and vegetable trees. He would sell these fruits and vegetables after meeting the family demands. His wife raised chickens, ducks, goats and cows. From all of these, he could make enough to fulfil his family’s needs.

In 2007, Sidr hit the area and destroyed Sobulen’s house and trees. All the livestock, including the fish, were washed away. Several NGOs provided relief, but he was too shy to take it as he belonged to a middle-income family. During this time, he had no other way to make money except as a day labourer. Therefore he started to work in different places as a day labourer and his wife began cultivating vegetables and raising chickens. They began to manage their family needs, but in 2009, cyclone Aila hit the area and destroyed everything again…


Earthquakes and the built environment

THREE strong earthquakes, all more than magnitude 6, struck the province of Cotabato in October, affecting Northern Mindanao, the Davao Region, Soccsksargen and BARMM. There were at least 21 fatalities; 20,921 houses completely destroyed; and 6,429 homes and 75 schools partially damaged. The images of the devastated properties and infrastructure would reveal if they indeed followed the National Structural Code of the Philippines (NSCP). Apart from the physical injuries and material losses, the people of Mindanao are trying to recover from the trauma they felt during and after the successive earthquakes.

There are 10 man-made and eight natural disasters, and earthquakes are one of them. According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), our country is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, which places us in a seismically active region. Therefore, each of our regions and provinces is vulnerable to a large-magnitude earthquake caused by various faults and trenches…


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