Communication to Accord signatories on recent earthquake impacting Bangladesh

14 April 2016

A magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck near Mandalay, Myanmar (~400 km East of Dhaka) at approximately 8:00 pm on Wednesday 13 April 2016. The tremor could be felt in Bangladesh, including Dhaka and Chittagong. The information we have is that there were no deaths and small numbers of minor injuries, from panicked persons fleeing from buildings, associated with the earthquake. Local news sources report damage to a small number (6) of buildings, particularly in Chittagong. One of these reportedly housed garment factories which are not listed Accord suppliers.

In response to the impact of the earthquake in Dhaka, the Accord will be writing to every Accord inspected factory to obtain information on any related safety concerns they have, any visible damage, and to have their engineers do a post-earthquake rapid assessment. The Accord will provide the ATC-20 protocol which the factories’ engineers must use. We will request the factories reply back to us within 3 business days.

The Accord will write to each IndustriAll RMG federation to request that they provide us any information they receive or have workers contact us directly on any damage or concerns related to the recent earthquake at their Accord inspected factories. As was done in April 2015 and January 2016 earthquakes which affected Bangladesh, we will process these matters under the Accord OSH complaint mechanism.

The Accord will have our engineers follow up on any concerns raised by the factories, the workers, or through the ATC-20 assessment.

We have not yet received any information of damage at Accord inspected factories. We shall continue to keep the Steering Committee and signatories informed as required.

Please note that 14 April is a major national holiday in Bangladesh (Bangla New Year). RMG factories will be closed today and Friday 15 April 2016.

Sincerely,

Brad Loewen, Accord Chief Safety Inspector
Rob Wayss, Accord Executive Director

You can download this communication here