Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) on Sunday shut down four markets and a residential building for ten days with frequent earthquake tremors panicking locals
The SCC started the drive since this morning, said SCC public relations officer Abdul Alim Shah.
The closed markets are Madhuban Super Market, Mitali Mansion, Raza Mansion, and City Super Market, all of them on a list of risky buildings. All residents of the closed residential building have also been evacuated and moved to a safer place.
According to SCC sources, they had a list of 22 risky buildings and another building has been added to the list as rumours spread that the building tilted yesterday.
Nur Azizur Rahman, chief engineer of SCC, said 22 risky buildings were identified in 2019 including collector's building no 3, next to the Deputy Commissioners' office, and the Somobay Bank building on District Road, and Surma Market.
Hotel Azmir of Darga gate, Mannan View of Kalashil, Suveccha Bhaban no 226, Sarkar Bhaban of Chowkidekhi, Nabapuspa bhaban of Jatarpur, and Pathantuli Primary School are also on the list.
PRO Abdul Alim Shah, said SCC mayor and subject matter experts of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, have visited these vulnerable locations. More buildings are likely to be added to the list of risky buildings.
Meanwhile, a mild earthquake was felt in different parts of Sylhet early on Sunday.
The magnitude of the earthquake, which was felt around 4.35 am in the morning, could not be measured on the Richter scale.
Earlier, the people of Sylhet felt earthquakes at least five times between 10:58 am to 2 pm on Saturday
According to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD), the first earthquake struck at 10:58 am with a magnitude of 4.1. The magnitude of the tremor that occurred at 4 pm was 4. The rest were milder.
People said that these tremors, lasting one to three seconds, were different from any previous earthquake. However, no casualties were reported.
Experts said that such light tremors often occur in this region. Having a high frequency can cause awkward tremors with vibrations for a brief time, but cannot cause major damage.
BMD Meteorologist Mominul Islam said, "Since 2019, sources of four earthquakes, with a magnitude between 2.77 and 4, were in Sylhet and surrounding areas. Out of five earthquakes on Saturday, the magnitude of two was 4. The earthquakes were not detected by seismographs in Dhaka. Data was found only from Sylhet."
"Small tremors can occur before or after a large earthquake. So, there is a possibility of large tremors in the Sylhet region. On the other hand, repeated earthquakes release the stored energy, which is good because the energy required for big earthquakes weakens through small tremors," he added.
History says that a 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck in 1869 in the same area of Sylhet. In 1989, a 7.6-magnitude earthquake happened there. The last one, a 7.1 magnitude Durgapur earthquake occurred in 1923.
In the past, three major earthquakes, including small ones, struck in 60-70 kilometre area of Sylhet. Last month, there was an earthquake in Assam which did not affect Bangladesh but causes damages there.
Small earthquakes indicate a large-scale earthquake in the future. Over 150 years, high-magnitude earthquakes have been occurring in the area.