Panic as Fresh Earth Tremor Hits Abuja


Panic has reportedly gripped the residents of Mpape, a suburb of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), over a fresh earth tremor that rocked the area.

This Day reports that the the earth tremor which occurred on Friday, March 8, allegedly claimed three lives.

It was gathered that the residents said the seismic disturbance occurred at about 2 a.m when many of them were already in bed. The tremor was said to have affected many buildings in the area.

According to the newspaper, a resident named Favour, confirmed the incident, adding that the tremor claimed three lives in the community.

She said she woke up seeing dusts in her room and many items littering the place.

Reacting to the incident, the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA), refuted rumour of another earth tremor at Mpape community in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Abba Usman, the deputy director, geophysics department of NGSA, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, on Friday, March 8.

Usman said there were rumours on Thursday, March 7, by the residents of the community that another earth tremor occurred in the area at about 2 p.m.

He explained that the loud noise and movement of the earth that occurred in the community was as a result of expired dynamites explosives that were not properly detonated by examines limited, a quarry company located at Mpape.

Usman said the company had sought permission from the ministry of mines and steel development to detonate expired dynamites in its possession as it was no longer in operation.

He said that the mines inspectorate department of the ministry saddled with the responsibility of explosives usage, and regulation of quarries and mines activities did not give the company proper instructions on how to dispose the explosives.

“The company was no longer in operation and it felt there was no need to continue to keep the explosives it was using to blast rocks.

“The company asked for permission from the ministry but I think it was not well guided by the professionals in charge of how to dispose the explosives.

“The explosives were buried in a shallow hole which was not deep enough and it was 100 metres from the community. Explosives are normally disposed far from the city to avoid its impact on humans and the environment.

“The impact of the explosives detonated caused a loud noise and the movement of the ground which affected the administrative block of the company and the roofs of five houses close to the area.

“When we got the news, we checked from our seismometers for detecting earth tremor to check if it was earth tremor but there was no evidence of such occurrence in that area,’’ he said

It was reported that in September 2018, there was earth tremor at Mpape and some parts of Maitama District which made the Federal Government to stop quarry companies from blasting rocks in the areas.

Mpape, a suburb of the FCT sits atop the hills, overlooking the upscale Maitama District, where many of the country’s elites have their homes.