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Abuja Earth Tremor: Presidential committee submits report

The presidential committee on the recent earth tremor in Abuja has finally come up with its report, saying that earthquake has become a potential hazard in Nigeria.

The chairman of the committee and the Director General of the National Space Research and Development Agency, Prof Seidu Mohammed, made this known while presenting the report of the committee to the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu in Abuja yesterday.

This disclosure was contained in a statement made available to journalists at the end of the presentation by the Head, Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Science and Technology, AbdulGaniyu Aminu

Prof. Mohammed said ?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 further explained that the country was now prone to seismic hazards following a recent earthquake occurrence in Kwoi, Kaduna State; Saki, Oyo State and Ibgogene in Bayelsa State all in 2016.

The latest, he added, occurred 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,? Mohammed was quoted to have said,

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He explained further that water extraction and recharge imbalance from aquifer 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 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 a detailed seismic tectonic study using state-of-the-art equipment of the area and the entire country.

Onu, in his response, said the Federal Government would conduct further research and monitor earthquake-prone areas in Abuja and other parts of the country so as to preearth-dict and forestall probable negative fall-outs in the future

The Minister also said now was the right time that Nigeria worked on the building code and materials used in housing construction in case tremor occurred in the future.

He said that the buildings and building materials should be such could withstand any likely tremor.

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