Abuja tremors: FCT Minister suspends quarrying, borehole drilling

Hudu Yakubu, Abuja 

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The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Muhammad Musa Bello, has directed the suspension of further quarrying, mining and borehole drilling in the affected areas of Mpape, Gwarimpa and Garki districts of Abuja, pending the outcome of investigations on the root causes of the incidents.

The Minister gave this order when he paid an on-the-spot visit to Mpape, the epicentre of reported incidents of earth tremor in parts of Abuja, Nigeria.

The FCT Minister, represented by the territory Permanent Secretary, Mr Chinyeaka Ohaa, who advised residents of the affected areas to be rest assured that there was no cause for alarm, also noted that geological experts had counselled that Abuja was not in any major seismic danger.

Bello asked residents to go about all their businesses, adding that the Administration is engaging both local and international geological experts, in order to unravel the root causes of the earth tremors experienced in parts of Abuja in recent times.

He explained that preliminary reports indicated that the activities of rock blasting from quarrying, mining activities, as well as proliferation of borehole drilling were likely causes of these tremors.

They instructed that all quarrying activities in various sites of Abuja, especially Mpape, Garki, Gwarimpa and contiguous areas in the FCT should be suspended pending the outcome of their findings.

In his response, the District Head of Mpape, Abubakar Ibrahim Gimba as well as the Chairman of Mpape Residents Associations, Mr. Ameh Christian recounted that the community had experienced tremors in the past, but that the recent incident was more pronounced.

They thanked the FCT Administration for its prompt response to the incident while acknowledging the presence of the FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Chief Gimba noted that the assurances given by the Administration would go a long way to calm the residents and assuage fears of immediate and impending disaster.

Meanwhile, the FCT Emergency Management Agency has urged the public to contact FEMA on its 112 toll free emergency number in case of any emergency situation.