Urban earthquake hazard: perceived seismic risk and preparedness in Dhaka City, Bangladesh


Bimal Kanti Paul, 118 Seaton Hall, Manhattan, Kansas 66506, United States. Telephone: 00 1 785 532 3409; fax: 00 1 785 532 7310; e-mail: bkp@k-state.edu


Bangladesh is vulnerable to seismic events. Experts suspect that if an earthquake with a 7.0 magnitude occurred in large cities of Bangladesh, there would be a major human tragedy due to the structural failure of many buildings. The primary objectives of this paper are to examine seismic risk perception among residents of Dhaka City and investigate their levels of earthquake preparedness. A questionnaire survey conducted among 444 residents of the city provided the major source of data for the paper. The survey results suggest that an overwhelming majority of the respondents were not prepared for a major earthquake, which is anticipated to occur in Dhaka. Multivariate analysis of survey data reveals that value of residential unit and respondent educational levels appear as the most significant determinants of preparedness status of the respondents. This study recommends increasing earthquake awareness and preparedness among residents of Dhaka City.