Our attention was drawn to the online newsreporting in the Punch Newspaper of today 31/10/2019 regarding the occurrence of earth tremors in Abia yesterday Wednesday 30/10/2019. We would like to put the record straight, and correct the mis-information that are contained in the report.
The general public should note that, this is a very Interesting story, and the observation calls for urgent action and concern by the Government, Local, State and Federal. The contents of the report is half-truth and not scientifically correct.
We have found out that the general Nigerian populace do not have proper understanding of what EARTH-TREMOR really is, and what it’s all about. They need education on this by the Nigerian Press.
We at OAUIFE have checked our Seismic records in all our Earthquake Monitoring Laboratory and Seismic Monitoring Centres at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, and we want to report that, *there is no record of earth tremor (natural or artificial) anywhere in Nigeria in the last one week or eight months..* The general public should not entertain any fear because the Federal Government of Nigeria, and the following Agencies: Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA), Centre for Geodynamics and Geodesy (CGG), Toro, Bauchi State, and the Obafemi Awolowo University have very sensitive earthquake and earth-tremor monitoring equipment that are capable of detecting any anomalous seismic behaviour and pattern anywhere in Nigeria.
The said earth-tremor was first reported in Abia and Enugu on 20th September, 2019, and 30th October, 2019. All the Seismometer sensors at OAUIFE and other locations in Nigeria didn’t record the said events. Our group (OAUIFE) and the CGG Toro went to the affected areas in September and early October only to discover that it was a landslide and not earth-tremor as earlier reported in the news. Our findings suggest that, the landslide that was erroneously reported as “earth-tremor” was landslide induced by flooding and excessive rainfall in the affected area.
We at the Earthquake and Space Weather Laboratory at the Obafemi Awolowo University are proposing that a comprehensive study of the watershed in the area, geomorphology and composite geologic environment of the area need to be evaluated in respect to crustal instability and landslide that’s being experienced in the affected area vis-a-vis the social impacts of the natural and artificial phenomena has to be properly investigated.
Very soon, the appropriate authourity and all the relevant agencies would be embarking on a follow-up study to ascertain the remote causes and the causative factors of the events. Thereafter, the general public would be appropriately educated.
I am aware that, sometimes in May 2019, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved some fundings for the procurement of some very sensitive earth-movement and and earth monitoring sensors that would be deployed all over Nigeria very soon for effective earth monitoring. That was sequel to the report on the Abuja tremor of last year that was submitted by the Presidential-InterMinisterial Committee of which I was a member to the Presidency earlier this year. Thus, I would enjoin the general public not to entertain unneccessary panic and fear as appropriate mitigation measure are being taken by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Adepelumi. A. Adekunle
Earthquake & Space Weather Laboratory,
Department of Geology, Obafemi Awolowo University,
Ile-Ife, Osun State