Two tremors on the eve of Eid and one on Eid day panicked people spending their holidays across the country.
The first jolt was felt only for a few seconds at 10:42pm Friday while the second one at 11:24pm with 4.8 magnitude on the Richter scale stayed for a while. The third of 5.2 magnitude shook different parts of the country on Eid afternoon.
On the eve of Eid, two moderate earthquakes were felt in some places in the country, including Dhaka. The second tremor’s epicentre was about 46km from Agargaon, Dhaka Seismic Observatory centre, US Geological Survey reports.
Earthquake expert ASM Maksud Kamal, urban risk reduction specialist of Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme (CDMP) of UNDP, told The Daily Star that the second tremor was at the Dhaleshwari fault line near the confluence of the Dhaleshwari and the Shitalakkhya.
Panicked people especially of Dhaka rushed out of their homes.
Naznin Sultana Popy, a resident of Mirpur-12, came out of her house with her six-year-old daughter Sauda Hossain just after the second tremor and did not go back in until midnight.
“All the tin-built structures (houses) were shaking and we were praying to Allah to save us,” said Shima Akhtar, a resident of Tungibari in Bikrampur.
Cracks developed in Lutfa Tower and Paneros Tower in Narayanganj, said locals.
It was felt in Dhaka, Narayanganj, Gazipur, Manikganj, Munshiganj, Jamalpur, Tangail, Sirajganj, Kishoreganj, Natore, Pabna, Brahmanbaria, Comilla, Chandpur, Narsingdi, Habiganj, Bagerhat, Kushtia, Magura, Khulna, Bhairab, Laxmipur, Feni, Noakhali, Shariatpur, Madaripur, Barisal, Bhola and Gopalganj among other places.
According to the Met Office, the epicentre of the third earthquake was 233km north of the office at Agargaon. It was felt for a few seconds in Dinajpur, Kurigram, Gaibandha and Jamalpur.
Maksud predicted that such fore shakes indicate a big one looming.
He said places where earthquakes of over 7 on the Richter scale have occurred tend to have another big one within 130 to 150 years.
The last major earthquake with the epicentre on Dhaka area was 130 years ago, Chittagong 250 years ago and Sylhet about 100 years ago.
He said during the last 250 years eight major earthquakes have affected Bangladesh. Among the eight, four earthquakes had their epicentres inside Bangladesh.
The great Indian earthquake of June 12, 1897 of 8.7 in the Richter scale had the epicentre in the central part of Shillong plateau, he said.
Maksud said fault lines like Douki fault zone, Shahjibazar fault zone, Moheshkhali fault zone, Tripura to Assam fault zone are active and energy has been generating there for a long time.