FG Moves to Unravel Cause of Kaduna Earth Tremor

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Dele Ogbodo in Abuja

The federal government, through the National Space Research Development Agency (NASRDA) wednesday began investigation into the recent earth tremor in Kaduna State, which led to displacement of several persons last week end.

Responding to enquiries made by THISDAY through text message, the agency’s Head of Corporate Communications, Mr. Felix Ale, in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja, said the nature of the source of the passive earth movement would soon be determined after the completion of the on-going investigation of the incident led by Mr. Ofonime Akpan of the Kaduna seismic centre.

According to the statement, “The NASRDA has attributed the cause of the recent tremor in Jama Local Government Area of the state to passive sources.”

Ale said reports had established that the incident were recorded in Kwoi and surrounding villages of Nok, Sanbahand Chori in Jama Local Government Area of the state last Sunday and Monday.

He said: “The current findings were the outcome of a preliminary report by the team of experts immediately deployed to the affected communities from one of the activity centres of the space agency.

“The Centre for Geodesy and Geodynamics were on-the-spot assessment to carry out a survey and investigation into the incident.

“The team which was led by the Head of Seismology division of the agency, Mr. Ofonime Akpan, was able to establish that the Seismological Station of NASRDA in Kaduna accurately recorded the unfortunate incident which made it easy for collation of data and early release of preliminary reports on the incident.

“The analysis showed that the first event occurred at 12:28:16.50 seconds GMT on September 11, 2016, and the event has an epicentre located Latitude 9.825N and Longitude 7.885 E while Local Magnitude was 2.6 and Moment Magnitude was 3.0 and Focal Depth was 10kilometre.”

Further analysis of the report revealed that the second event occurred on September 12, 2016, at 03:10:48.80 seconds (GMT) with Local Magnitude of 2.6 and Moment Magnitude of 2.9 with Focal Depth of 10km while the epicentre was Latitude 10.879N and Longitude 7.188E.

The statement further revealed that: “This was followed immediately by another event at 03:11:20.00 seconds (GMT) located at an epicentre of Latitude 9.927N and Longitude 7.297E, Local Magnitude 2.9 and Moment Magnitude 3.0.

“The reports revealed that the time of occurrence of these events and intensities of the locations as reported by inhabitants of the communities which included cracks on walls of buildings, falling off of ceiling fans and other items correspond with the results of analysis carried out by the team of experts from NASRDA’s Centre for Geodesy and Geodynamics.”

The agency therefore appealed to residents of the various communities to remain calm as no stone will be left unturned by it to unravel the situation as more data are aggressively being collected from other seismological stations.

“The space agency promised to make its detailed reports known to the public as soon as further investigations on the incident are completed.

“The Centre for Geodesy and Geodynamics located in Bauchi State is one of the activity centres of cxcellence of the Space Agency located in different geo-political zones of the country.

“The Centre is charged specifically with the mandates of crustal and coastal deformation monitoring, seismic hazard evaluation and monitoring as well as research in natural hazards like earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, subsistence among others.

“The NASRDA’s centre has successfully carried out several projects and research for national development among which are series of investigations on peculiar geo-hazards in Nigeria which include the application of Laser Technologies for subsistence monitoring along the coastal lines of Lagos and Port Harcourt, development of a geo-hazard map showing some areas that are susceptible to natural hazards,” it stated.

The agency had established the Nigeria National Network of Seismic Stations in Abuja, Kaduna, Ile-Ife, Awka, Abakaliki, Minna, Ibadan, Nsukka and Oyo town to monitor future earth phenomenon across the country.

This according to NASRDA is to improve Seismic data acquisition and encourage more research activities regarding seismicity in the country.