Patna, May 13 : Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday warned that five lakh people would die if the epicentre of an earthquake was in Patna, and stressed the need to make buildings quake-proof. “We only felt the tremors as the epicentre was in Nepal. If it would have been in Patna, at least five lakh people would lose their lives in minutes,” Nitish Kumar said at a conference of the state disaster management department. (Read: Earthquake toll touches 15 in Bihar)

A day after a massive earthquake rocked parts of Bihar and killed at least 15 people, Nitish Kumar said high-rise buildings have been constructed in congested lanes, violating safety norms. “Last month’s earthquake and Tuesday’s earthquake were warnings for all of us to make buildings earthquake-proof for safety,” he said.

Nitish Kumar also emphasised on providing training to engineers, architects and masons for constructing earthquake-proof buildings. He said Indians need to take lessons from earthquake-prone Japan, which has developed a building technique that helps avoiding damage to property or human lives in case of building collapses.