The Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, NGSA, has installed four seismometers in four strategic areas around the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and the fifth one in Kaduna with a view to recording earth tremor and developing the capacity to predict such occurrences in the future
Director General of the Agency, Dr Abdulrazaq Garba stated this in an interview with radio Nigeria in Abuja.
Dr Garba explained that the Agency had already commissioned an Earthquake monitoring command and control centre to record and possibly predict future occurrences across the country.
“Following repeated tremors around Abuja, the initial programme of national deployment was adjusted to accommodate seismographic densification of Abuja.
He said A 4-station Abuja network has therefore been put in place to have a closer and more effective oversight of the FCT.
According to Dr Garba the 4-station network is located at Nasarawa State University, Keffi; University of Abuja, Gwagwalada; Veritas University, Bwari and NGSA command and control centre in Utako, Abuja.
In his explanation, NGSA Director-General noted that all six geopolitical zones in the country will have the equipment.
He said, “This is the first step, we intend to have in phased installations of seismometer in other parts of the country, but because of the frequency we are now experiencing on earth tremors in Abuja, we decided to slightly alter the architecture.
“We are all aware that Abuja is the seat of power, very sensitive, so we need to actually establish a robust monitoring mechanism in Abuja”
Garba added that “We are all aware frequency of earth tremor which repeatedly occurred in Abuja last year, these equipment were not yet installed at the time, so it was difficult to establish the precise magnitude and epicenter of the earth tremor.
“But now we have the facility to actually understand the exact mechanism of earthquake and also improve our predictive capacity in NGSA.
According to him, “we are hoping to increase the density of these equipment to cover most parts of country and have a national coverage. When this is done we be able to generate data over time and be able to predict this type of event. “
This in effect will sensitize other safety organizations to be on alert to ensure safety of the citizens of Nigeria. Garba added When the Mpape incident happened. we interviewed the resident to find out the intensity of the vibration.
He noted that in the areas visited, the earth tremor was of relatively low intensity.
The Director General stressed that a lot of studies has been carried out by several organizations and an airborne survey has indicated that the area of the tremor lies within a zone weaknesses or shear zone Dr Garba stressed.
Dr Garba added that the agency officials are monitoring the seismometers and gathering information and monitoring any seismic events in the country.
He emphasized the need for synergy amongst agencies saying “before you build heavy structures, you need to establish the structural integrity of where you are building your structure which would to a large extent reduce the problem of safety among citizen.”
The DG also advised residents to remain calm.
“There is really no cause for alarm. Nigeria is not situated at the plate boundary so the tendency or propensity to have this violent earthquake is very minimal. However natural disasters do not give adequate warnings and tremors and typical events can occur in some unexpected areas he stressed.