To read this content please select one of the options below:

Tectonics and earthquake potential of Bangladesh: a review

Nibas Apu (Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Bombay, Mumbai, India)
Urmi Das (Department of Geography and Environment, Dhaka University, Dhaka, Bangladesh)

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment

ISSN: 1759-5908

Article publication date: 23 September 2020

Issue publication date: 24 May 2021




The purpose of this paper is to present an integrative review of the literature to understand the underlying risks of tectonic plate movements, earthquakes and possible earth tremors on Bangladesh as a country filled with waterways.


This study presents a review of seismic activities to present an overview of the active tectonic architecture of the region and its seismic potential with past consequence in Bangladesh region and its immediate surroundings. For the purpose of this review, peer-reviewed journals and electronic databases are the main sources for identifying studies, along with conference proceedings from the similar events and networks.


Review reveals that Bangladesh sits on three tectonic plates atop the world’s largest river delta and has blind faults, shallow faults and high amplified liquefiable zones. It has experienced few devastating earthquakes but most of the records are not documented and also a lack of proper seismic equipment could not record all the events. Also Bangladesh is ill prepared to tackle the aftermath of any strong earthquake and if an earthquake with 7 Mw or greater magnitude occurred, it would leave Bangladesh blighted by a catastrophic disaster with significant destruction of infrastructure, fire outbreaks resulting from breakdown of gas piping systems, fire from collapsed electrical lines and disruption of water connections both in urban and rural centres with greater impact on industrial cities that may not have adhered to standard building codes.


This paper outlined the necessity of an earthquake hazard catalogue, also preparation in sense of seismic risk mitigation and influence of decision-makers, policy institutes and professionals in ensuring infrastructure development and the building code provides for a safe environment and resilient buildings that can reduce or eliminate the risks.



Apu, N. and Das, U. (2021), "Tectonics and earthquake potential of Bangladesh: a review", International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 295-307.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles