ABUJA – Prof. Babatunde Rabiu, a scientist, has urged government to enforce existing laws against illegal mining and arbitrary drilling of boreholes to avert incidences of earth tremors, which endanger lives of citizens.
Rabiu, Director, Centre for Atmospheric Research, National Space Research and Development Agency CAR-NASRDA), made the call on Friday in Abuja while reacting to the recent earth tremor in the Federal Capital Territory (FTC).
“Earth tremors are seismic (technical relating to or caused by earthquakes) waves propagated underground which can cause the earth to shake.
“They are natural phenomenon that is often aggravated by careless digging of ground for mining or water boreholes.
“It is important that our government implements laws that are against illegal mining and drilling of boreholes.
“Government should also put in place seismological measurements to be monitored from time to time,” he said.
The scientist further said that Nigeria needed to introduce safety into the educational curriculum at all levels.
According to him, such training on how to respond in emergencies like earth tremors, earthquakes, bomb explosion and fire disaster, among others is very necessary.
Rabiu said that earth tremors could lead to physical disasters like collapse of buildings and loss of lives and properties.
He added that the country should not wait until for such incidents occurred before sensitising the public on what to do, hence the need for safety tips at all levels of education.
The director cautioned that the public should be calm in such occurrences, lie flat on the floor, hide under strong objects like tables, bed that are well footed.
“There should be a muster place in every big compound where people can run to and gather for safety,” he added.
Dr Daniel Oko, the Coordinator, Space Environment Research Lab, CAR-NASRDA, on his part said that earth tremors were signs of seismic movement within the earth.
Oko says that such happens when rocks under the earth surface are stressed and the force exerted on the rock mass exceeds its strength.
He said that the causes of earth tremors may not be clear, but tectonic forces were however responsible.
‘’Tectonic is relating to plate tectonics which are the study of the movement of the large sheets of rock that form the surface of the earth.
“Some activities that directly or indirectly put the underground rocks under stress and cause tremors are mining activities, drilling and rock blasting activities.
“In the case of FCT earth tremor, it is an indication that the rock beneath the surface is stressed”.
He, however, said that earth tremors did not pose serious problems as earthquakes but could lead to building collapse for buildings already under threat.
Oko advised that the public should avoid putting heavy loads on shelves as they could fall out and cause injury.
He also added that people should make fire extinguishers handy in case of fire outbreaks that result from the tremors.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that on Sept. 5, there was earth tremor around Mpape and part of Maitama District of the FCT which threw the city into panic.
Also in June 2016, there was an earth tremor in Saki area of Oyo North which caused panic among residents of the area.
Reports have it that the country had experienced earth tremors in 1933, 1939, 1964, 1984, 1990, 1994, 1997, 2000 and 2009.
The FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), however, said there was nothing to panic about the recent tremor in the city as there was no likelihood of any earthquake in Nigeria.
FEMA said that the country was not in earthquake zone and urged the residents to remain calm and be rest assured that the abnormal situation would elapse.