The Presidential Committee on Abuja tremors has said that 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 on September 7, 2018, in Mpape, Abuja’’ the report states.
The days when Nigerians expressed gratitude for not suffering these disasters may be coming to their end as the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) has identified communities in four states and Abuja as locations where a major earthquake may likely occur in the country.
The Director-General of NASRDA, Prof. Seidu Mohammed, disclosed this on the sideline of the second Engr. Brig. Gen. M.O Agu (rtd) Annual Distinguished Lecture in Abuja on Thursday.
Professor Mohammed also revealed that the identified communities may become the epicenters of a major earthquake if precautions were not taken.
The erstwhile inactive faults system in the country are gradually becoming active, he said, ‘which now make earthquake likely’ in and around the country.
About what the risk factors for these changes may be, he mentioned the indiscriminate drilling of boreholes dug in Abuja and called for the FG to arrest the situation and begin to give thorough regulation to earth drilling.
He encouraged engineers to now take cognizance of likely earth tremor when designing and constructing buildings. ‘These earthquakes may have been of low-magnitude, it is now certain that earthquake occurrence has become a potential hazard to the nation,’ says the report.
‘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 report states.
The committee further recommended detailed Seismotectonic study using State-of-the-art equipment in the area and the entire country.
The findings emphasize the need for a thorough study across the country to identify hotspots and aid the monitoring of developments.