NASRDA Warns Nigerians Of Major Earthquake In Abuja, Kaduna, Ogun, Oyo And Bayelsa State

According to online reports, the National Space Research and Development Agency NASRDA has identified communities in four states including the Federal Capital Territory Abuja as locations where major earthquake may likely occur in the country.

The Director General of NASRDA and also the chairman of presidential committee on the Abuja tremor, Prof. Seidu Mohammed, who disclosed this on the sideline of the second Engr. Brig. Gen. M.O Agu (rtd) Annual Distinguished Lecture held in Abuja on yesterday noted that Mpape in Abuja, Kwoi in Kaduna, Ijebu-Ode in Ogun, Shaki in Oyo and Igbogene in Bayelsa may likely be the epicenters of the major earthquake if precautions were not taken.

According to Prof. Mohammed, the erstwhile inactive faults system in the country are gradually becoming active, hence it now make earthquake likely in and around the country.

Prof. Mohammed, who further noted that a number of incidences in these locations, is also a pointer to the fact that a big disaster may occur there, called on the Federal Government to do something fast to avert it.

While adding that analysis of a 100 year-old data done by the members of the presidential committee on Abuja tremor showed that Mpape in Abuja is a hotspot which is highly susceptible to earth tremor and other earth shakeups, he said;

“What it means is that we need a thorough study across the country to identify such hotspots so that we can constantly monitor them from satellite system and from data from outer space’’.

He added that the high volume of water being taken out of over 110, 000 boreholes dug in Abuja is further making the situation in the capital city worse.

‘’More than 330 metric tonnes of water being taken out every day in Abuja is causing a vacuum; is straining the earth’’, he noted.

He therefore urged the FG to take a look at indiscriminate drilling of boreholes, while also calling on thorough regulation on earth drilling. He also said engineers should now take cognizance of likely earth tremor when designing and constructing buildings.

Last week, the Presidential Committee on Abuja Tremor said Nigeria was now prone to seismic hazards, which make earthquake occurrence a potential disaster to the country.

The committee disclosed that when it submitted the report of its findings to the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu.

‘’Nigeria is now prone to seismic hazards following recent earthquake occurrences in Kwoi, Kaduna state, Saki, Oyo State and Igbogene in Bayelsa State all in 2016. The latest occurred in September 7, 2018 in Mpape, Abuja’’it said.

It said though ‘’these earthquakes may have been of low-magnitude, it is now certain that earthquake occurrence has become a potential hazards to the nation’’.

The committee alluded to the report conducted by Julius Berger on the geological, hydrological and geotechnical investigation for Abuja which identified Mpape as a Shear zone that is weak with several fractures and faults system.

It added that water extraction and recharge imbalance from aquifer is 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 is not suitable, it added.

In view of the challenges that hinder efficient forecasting, detection and monitoring of earthquakes in Nigeria, the Committee 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.

The committee further recommended detailed Seismotectonic study using State-of-the-art equipment in the area and the entire country.

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