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LESSONS FROM TURKEY’S EARTHQUAKES
The tragedy in Turkey is another wake-up call
We commiserate with the government and people of Turkey on the recent magnitude 7.8 earthquake that claimed the lives of thousands and wreaked monumental havocs in the country. But it is important for authorities in Nigeria to learn lessons from the tragedy. In September 2018, there was an outbreak of multiple earth tremors in some parts of Abuja which jolted the city and caused many residents to agonise in despair. For three days, the rumbling of the tremor sparked fears in the communities of Mpape, Katampe District, part of Maitama and some rural communities within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The intense trembling of the ground made many to even ponder the option of relocation as they imagined the vibration was a sign of earthquake.
Although the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency and other emergency agencies downplayed the likelihood of an earthquake in Nigeria at the time, findings of the presidential assessment committee set up by the federal government were revealing on the dangers we face, especially from human activities. The committee declared that Nigeria is prone to seismic hazards while the possibility of an earthquake occurrence should never be ruled out. While nothing was done about the report, the Turkey tragedy is a wake-up call that there is need for a proper monitoring of all earthquake-prone zones in the country after previous incidents in Kwoi, Kaduna State; Saki, Oyo State, and Igbogene in Bayelsa State in 2016. The geological, hydrological, and geotechnical report for Abuja identified the underneath rock layers of Mpape to be already shifted, weak and bearing several fractures and faults system. This is not unexpected.