Over 20 incidents of earth tremor were recorded in many parts of the Federal Capital Territory in the past two days, sparking fears by residents, it was learnt on Friday.
Findings indicated that tremor was first observed on Thursday afternoon in Mpape, Katampe district, part of Maitama, and other rural communities in the FCT.
A resident of Mpape, Anita Adika, said the community had recorded series of tremors which got residents worried, noting that most people feared their houses might collapse on them.
“When we first heard the vibration, we thought it was caused by the blasting at the various quarry sites in the community, but when the tremors persisted, we feared for our lives should the buildings collapse on us,” she explained.
The tremors, she said, sounded like rumbling explosions with the ground shaking and vibrating as buildings rocked to the seismic activity.
A kerosene dealer, Cosmas Nwankwo, said Mpape residents were disturbed by the natural phenomenon which he said had never occurred in the area before.
He, however, said he was not worried by the development, adding that he was getting used to the occasional rumblings and vibrations by the tremor.
A motorist who identified himself simply as Roland, said he felt uncomfortable each time the ground shook under his feet.
“This was the first time I experienced this phenomenon and I must confess that I was shaken; I wasn’t afraid, but I was uncomfortable.
“My worst fear was that we might experience an earthquake, but when I was later informed that the FCT was not on the fault lines of earthquakes, I was at rest,” he explained.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, on Friday said there was no cause for alarm over the tremor.
The agency’s Director-General, Alex Nwegbu, said at a media briefing that the agency had deployed its officers in Mpape and its environs to carry out full-scale investigations.
He stated that there was no threat for now but advised residents to move out of their houses if the vibrations continued.
He also added that the government had procured six earthquake-monitoring seismograms to enable proper monitoring of all ground disturbances, stating that installation had begun in the six geopolitical zones of the country for the safety of citizens.
He said, “Preliminary findings indicated that analysis of the regional airborne geophysical data identified the area to have undergone series of tectonic activities, leading to structural emplacement.
“Some of these structures are deeply seated, broad and extensive and could serve as channels for stress dissipation. This preliminary investigation therefore associates the tremor to quarrying activities in the area, which involve intense blasting that leads to stress accumulation.”
Nwegbu estimated the intensity of the tremor to be 3 and 3.5 on the Modified Mercalli scale, adding that his agency would continue to monitor the situation for the next 48 hours to fully unravel the immediate and remote causes of the tremor.
“We are collecting more data and samples for testing. The inhabitants of Mpape and the general public are once again advised not to panic as the situation is not yet out of control,” he stated.