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Nigeria now prone to major earthquake – Panel

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The Presidential Committee on Abuja Tremor yesterday said Nigeria is now prone to seismic hazards, which make earthquake occurrence a potential disaster to the country.

Chairman of the Committee and Director General of National Space Research and Development Agency (NARSDA) Prof Seidu Mohammed disclosed this in Abuja yesterday, when the committee submitted the report of their 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 Ibgogene in Bayelsa State all in 2016. The latest occurred on September 7, 2018 in Mpape, Abuja”, Prof Mohammed said.

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

Professor Mohammed 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.

He 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, he 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.

Dr Onu said the Federal Government would conduct further research and monitor earthquake prone areas in Abuja and other parts of Nigeria so as to predict and forestall probable negative fallouts in future. Daily Trust

 

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