The recent earth tremor that occurred in Abuja has fair chances of happening across the country, the Presidential Committee set up on the incident has revealed.
According to the committee, based on the results obtained using the probability of recurrence theory, the probability of recurrence in the very near future is fairly high in Nigeria.
Chairman of the committee and Director General, National Space Research and Development Agency, Prof.
Seidu Mohammed observed that currently about 110,000 boreholes have been sunk in Abuja with 330,000 metric tonnes of water extracted daily.
Submitting the report to the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr.
Ogbonnaya Onu in Abuja yesterday, Mohammed added that water extraction and recharge imbalance from aquifer is causing hydro-geological instability along the fractures of Abuja.
Mohammed further revealed that the imbalance is further caused by about 330,000 metric tonnes of water extracted daily from Abuja boreholes.
He said: “The latest occurred in September 7th of 2018 in Abuja with Mpape as epicentre.
These earthquakes may have been of low-magnitudes, it is now certain that earthquake occurrence has become a potential hazard to the nation.
“The report of the geological, hydro-geological and geo-technical investigations carried out in 1978 by Julius Berger for Abuja identified Mpape as a Shear zone that is weak with several fractures and fault system.
“Water extraction and recharge imbalance from aquifer is causing hydrogeological instability along the fractures.
Currently, there are 110,000 boreholes within Abuja metropolis with about 330, 000 metric tonnes of water extracted daily.
This is not sustainable.
“In the light of the above, the spots and locations identified and considered as earthquake prone areas in Abuja in particular, and Nigeria in general, need to be further studied and continuously monitored.
There is also the need to carry out detailed vulnerability studies of the identified seismic hot spots in Nigeria.
“Based on the results obtained using the probability of recurrence theory, we confirmed that the probability of recurrence in the very near future is fairly high in Nigeria.
“There is the need to regulate the exploitation of ground water resources of Abuja via indiscriminate sinking of boreholes because this has been the primary reason for the stress build up leading to the Abuja tremors of 5th-7th September, 2018.
“Government should release fund for the training of Geophysicist, Geologists, Engineers, Technologists and researchers to participate in earth science research, in order to improve our understanding of Nigerian and West African geophysics and tectonics dynamism.
We emphasize that this research has crucial societal ‘value as it is evident in earthquake hazard readiness and mitigation.” Receiving the report, the minister assured that the committee will continue its research after the submission and asked the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI) to develop seismic building code that can resist tremors in future.