Nigeria Now At Risk of Earthquake, Tremors – Presidency
For long Nigeria and Nigerians have taken solace in the fact that while the country may be plagued by economic, political and fiscal disasters, it was at least immune from natural disasters like earthquake, tsunamis and tremors prone to first world western and Asian countries.
Many Nigerians were sceptical about the tremors felt within the metropolis of the Federal capital territory recently despite the fact that it was felt by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki. Many people thought it was just politics.
The Presidency therefore set up a fact finding committee to ascertain the authenticity of the tremors and the level of vulnerability Nigeria was exposed to.
The committee which went to work immediately has come out with results and they are not positive vibes.
According to the Presidential committee on the recent earth tremor in Abuja, Nigeria is now prone to natural disasters such as earthquake and tremors.
This was revealed by the chairman of the committee and the Director General of the National Space Research and Development Agency, Prof Seidu Mohammed, while presenting the report of the committee to the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu.
According to the head Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Science and Technology, AbdulGaniyu Aminu, Mohammed; a study conducted by Julius Berger on the geological, hydrological and geotechnical investigation for Abuja identified Mpape as a shear zone that was weak with several fractures and faults system.
He confirmed that Nigeria was now prone to seismic hazards following a recent earthquake that occurred in Kwoi, Kaduna State; Saki, Oyo State and Ibgogene in Bayelsa State in 2016 as well as the last tremor that happened on September 7, 2018, in Mpape, Abuja.
“Though these earthquakes may have been of low-magnitude, it is now certain that earthquake occurrence has become a potential hazard to the nation,” he said,
He went ahead to list the factors that led to this vulnerability such as water extraction and recharge imbalance from aquifers which were causing hydrological instability along the fractures;
“The existence of 110,000 boreholes within Abuja metropolis with about 330,000 metric tonnes of water drilled daily was not suitable,” he added.
In view of the challenges that hinder efficient forecasting, detection and monitoring of earthquakes in country, the presidential committee therefore recommended the procurement and installation of more seismometers and GPS sensors/equipment for the enlargement and networking of the Nigeria National Network of Seismographic Stations as well as detailed seismic tectonic study using state-of-the-art equipment of the area and the entire country.