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Dhaka Tribune

Patuakhali seismograph broken for 3 years

Update : 29 Apr 2015, 07:35 PM

The seismograph at Patuakhali Science and Technology University (PSTU) seismological centre is out of order and has been in the state for more than three years.

In the wake of the recent series of earthquakes in the Himalayan region, one of which had devastating effects in Nepal, not having a functional seismograph is a little risky since Bangladesh has long been under threat of major earthquake, sources at the PSTU told the Dhaka Tribune.

“You cannot exactly predict earthquake, of course, but sometimes, before a major earthquake, there may be some minor jolts that can give us a hint. We can only know that from the readings of a seismograph,” said Dr Munibur Rahman, assistant professor at the university’s electrical engineering department and in charge of the seismological centre.

A seismograph measures and records details of ground motion, including those of seismic waves generated by activities such as earthquakes.

Dr AKM Mustafa Zaman, dean of the faculty of computer science and engineering at the university and convener of the seismological centre, said the centre had been trying to contact the authorities concerned to repair the seismograph, but had yet to get a positive response.

This is not the first time  the PSTU seismograph has gone out of order.

Shortly after it was inaugurated on May 27, 2008, it broke down due to configuration, power supply and other technical problems.

It two years to get the seismograph repaired, following a visit by Dr Syed Humayun Akhter, chairman of DU’s geology department, to the PSTU in September 2010.

But the machine’s sensor and some other parts broke down again in February 2012, and it has been out of order since then.

The seismograph was installed at the PSTU under a joint Bangladesh-US research project at the cost of Tk75 lakh, Prof Munibur said.

The project, between the geology department of Dhaka University and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, US, saw the instalment of three other seismographs in Rajshahi, Sylhet and Khulna. 

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