THE recent earth tremors in Kwoi and surrounding villages of Nok, Sanbah and Chori in Jaba Local Government Area of Kaduna State should be thoroughly investigated by the relevant government agency to unearth the cause of the incident and proffer remedial measures to avert future occurrence.
Following the multiple tremors which shook the ground and buildings, some residents of the affected areas had fled to other parts of the state. This is the second time that earth tremors would shake parts of Kaduna State this year. The first one which occurred in Hayin Magani in Ikara Local Government Area of the state destroyed homes and injured people.
It is good that Governor Nasir el-Rufai immediately intervened and directed the State Emergency Agency (SEMA) to the affected zone as well as notified the National Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) to investigate the tremors and provide appropriate guidance on the development.
Besides, in June this year, there were reported tremors in some parts of Oyo, Bayelsa and Rivers states. Before the 2016 tremors, Nigeria had reportedly experienced tremors in 1933, 1939, 1964, 1984, 1990, 1994, 1997, 2000 and 2009. Also, environmental experts have warned that six states could experience earth quakes before 2020. The states are Lagos, Oyo, Bayelsa, Rivers, Cross River and Delta.
It will be recalled that following the earth tremor of 2009 in South-western Nigeria that was felt in several towns and villages in Oyo, Osun, and Ogun states, researchers from Department of Geology, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, investigated the matter. They had, in a preliminary assessment of earth tremor occurrence in Shaki area, Shaki West Local Government Area of Oyo State, warned of an impending ‘damaging earthquake’ in the next four years.
Their findings indicate the probability of earthquake occurrence in the study area between the year 2009 and 2028 increased from 2.8 per cent to 91.1 per cent.
Moreover, geophysical and geological studies have revealed that a fault zone that connects with the Atlantic fracture exists along Ifewara in Osun State and Zungeru in Niger State.
While the outcome of a detailed investigation on the tremors is being awaited, the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) had in a preliminary report blamed the Kaduna tremors on ‘passive sources.’
According to the agency’s Head of Media and Corporate Communications, Dr. Felix Ale, the nature of the source would soon be determined after the completion of another investigation into the incident.
The Kaduna tremors may indicate that earthquake is not far from our shores. Nigerians should begin to take good care of the environment. There is no doubt that illegal mining and unregulated drilling of water boreholes could have contributed to the unfortunate incident.
Perhaps, the repeated tremors across the country are warning signs that Nigeria might be earthquake-prone. Therefore, we call on the Federal Government to investigate the Kaduna tremors and others witnessed in the country since this year so that adequate measures will be taken to avoid a repeat of such tremors in future, especially if the tremors are as a result of human activities. Let the appropriate agencies embark on comprehensive geological surveys to identify more areas that might experience earth tremors in the future.
The government should regulate mining activities as well as drilling of water boreholes in the country. We say this because illegal mining and haphazard drilling of water boreholes are not friendly to the environment.
The government should do something urgently in the six earthquake-prone states of the country. There is the need to carry out serious geological studies in those states so as to proffer intervention measures to check the catastrophe.