A newly discovered fault line could put 140 million people in danger

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A Newly Discovered Fault Line Could Put 100 Million People in Danger

This was the aftermath of a 9.0 magnitude earthquake that shook Japan back in 2011.

That quake and subsequent tsunami killed 22,000 people and caused $300 billion in damage. Now, experts warn this could happen again but in a different part of the world.

Researchers have identified a hidden fault beneath Bangladesh and parts of east India and Myanmar.

New GPS data indicates a megaquake — an earthquake with a magnitude 8.2 to 9.0 — could strike the region.

SEE MORE: A New App Wants To Collect Earthquake Data From Your Phone

An earthquake that strong would be incredibly devastating. According to Live Science, "researchers estimate about 140 million people live within 60 miles of the fault."

Most of those people are in the eastern outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh. It wasn't long ago that The World Bank labeled Dhaka the fastest-growing city in the world. The problem is, the rapid development needed to keep up with growth isn't necessarily the safest.

One of the researchers told Live Science: "I've seen them pumping sand to build up the ground level to build a 20-story building. If there's an earthquake [that ground is] going to liquefy and the building is just going to fall over."

RELATED: Recent earthquakes

Another researcher told National Geographic, "Dhaka's basically like building a city on a bowl of Jell-O."

The caveat here, and in lots of other earthquake studies, is it's really hard to predict when the fault may trigger a quake.

A seismologist in Dhaka told National Geographic they are preparing for an earthquake, though the process is slow.

RELATED: See some of the active fault lines in the United States:

13 PHOTOS
Active fault lines/zones in the United States -- earthquakes
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Active fault lines/zones in the United States -- earthquakes

The Alaska-Aleutian Megathrust is located across 3,600 kilometers between Kamchatka, Russia to the Gulf of Alaska.

(Photo by Daniel A. Leifheit via Getty Images)

The Cascadia Megathrust stretches along the coasts of Washington and Oregon up into Canada

(Photo via Encyclopaedia Britannica/UIG via Getty Images)

The Eastern Tennessee Seismic Zone runs from Alabama to Virginia and is responsible for four earthquakes in the past century. 

(Photo by Harrison Shull via Getty Images)

The Elsinore Fault Zone lies along the Santa Ana Mountains in Southern California

(Photo handout via NASA)

The Hayward Fault Zone runs along San Francisco Bay for 119 miles.

(Photo by Dave and Les Jacobs via Getty Images)

The Humboldt Fault (red) and the Midcontinent Rift System (green) are both located in Kansas and Nebraska. 

(Photo via Public Domain)

The Independence Valley fault system in Nevada was responsible for the 2008 Wells earthquake. 

(AP Photo/Mike Terry, Deseret Morning News) 

The Laguna Salada Fault runs from the US to Mexico and caused the 2010 Mexicali quake.

(Photo credit should read Daniel CONEJO/AFP/Getty Images)

The Moab Fault is located in Utah.

(By Andrew Wilson (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

The New Madrid Fault Zone is located in Missouri.

(Photo via Public Domain)

The San Andreas Fault System runs along 1,300 kilometers in California. 

(REUTERS/NASA/JPL/Handout)

The Wilzetta Fault in Oklahoma is believed to have caused an earthquake in 2011. 

(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

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