“There is absolutely no cause for alarm. Nigeria is not situated at the plate boundary so the tendency to have this violent earthquake is very minimal.”
Samuel Bello, Abuja
Following the recent earth tremor that hit residents in Abuja, the Federal Government, yesterday, said it has acquired 6 sets of earthquake monitoring equipments and assured that there was no cause for alarm.
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Director-General, Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA), Mr. Alex Nwegbu, who disclosed this in Abuja during a press briefing, said the equipments would be deployed to all the six geopolitical zones with a view to giving quick information before future occurrences.
According to him, “we are presently in the process of deploying them in different zones of the country determined by a geologist in Kaduna, Abuja, Yola, Ibadan, as well as Calabar and Awka and by the time they are deployed, it would give us quick information as where probably we could have this type of event, probably to warm people before it occurs. So, in the next one month we would have deployed them to enhance the safety of the citizens of Nigeria.
“Most earthquakes do not occur along the plate boundaries they are interpolated and that is why it has been a puzzle to geoscientists. When we found out about Mpape, we interviewed the resident to find out the intensity of the vibration because there are certain parameters to determine the intensity. When they went they did not witness cracks on the walls of the building or ground so technically it was an earth tremor of relatively low intensity. We came back and did a lot of studies because earthquakes usually follow areas of weakness and we have conducted airborne magnetic survey of the whole country to get areas of weaknesses.
“Based on the location of Mpape and its environment, you can understand that the area has predisposition to having that kind of earth tremor. We have not conclusively found the key trigger behind the tremor because it’s not a one day field work. They are in the field right now taking measurements and getting more information to know the focal point and origin of the earthquake. It may have been triggered elsewhere or the cause of the relative weakness that is why we are in Mpape.
“Recently we acquired some 6 sets of earthquake monitoring equipment and we are presently in the process of deploying them in different zones of the country determined by a geologist in Kaduna, Abuja, Yola, Ibadan, Calabar and Awka and by the time they are deployed, it would give us quick information as where probably we could have this type of event probably we would warm people before it occurs. So in the next one month we would have deployed them to enhance the safety of citizens of Nigeria.
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Nwegbu emphasized the need for synergy amongst agencies and ministries of government, saying “before you build heavy structures, you need to establish the structural integrity of where you are founding your structure which would to a large extent reduce the problem of safety among citizen.
The DG also advised residents to remain calm and advocate on measures to take in avoiding increased factor of the natural disaster.
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“There is absolutely no cause for alarm. Nigeria is not situated at the plate boundary so the tendency or propensity to have this violent earthquake is very minimal. We have over the years experienced minor tremors, which is gradual shaking of the ground and vibration of the building and its advices that ones you start noticing the building, move out of your house because you can never underestimate how the structure can be compromised. First thing to do is run out to the field then monitor whatever progress in terms of the activities before you know what else to do.
“Presently we are collecting more data especially more gas emission. This helps us equally in monitoring earthquake. We are going to test the water and determine the fractures that are not obvious from the aeromagnetic map and this would definitely help us in determine the true cause of this phenomenon,” he said.