By Bukola Adewumi/Jessica Dogo
Abuja – FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Friday assured residents of the territory that there was no likelihood of earthquake within the territory and the country, after the earth tremor in Mpape and its environs on Thursday.
Residents in the Federal Capital Territory were alarmed by the sudden shake of the earth in the the affected areas which was their first experience in many years.
The tremor instilled some fear in the residents, resulting in confusion about the cause of the terrific happening around them.
Tremor is an involuntary movement.
The Director-General of the Agency, Mr Abass Idris, had said there no cause for alarm, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja while reacting to distress calls by residents of the FCT.
According to him, the earth-shaking around Mpape and some parts of Maitama district does not imply that the FCT and indeed the country is under the threat of earth quake, saying that the agency is in firm control of the situation.
“We are urging all residents to calm down and be rest assured that the abnormal situation would soon stop.”
According to him, the possible cause of the incident may be due to earth tumor which he explained, is a “sign of seismic movement within the earth that was caused by a sudden break along a fault line.
“This sudden release of energy makes the ground to shake which may be caused by stress in underground rocks and may be due to rock blasting and mining activities in the area.
“When personnel of the agency interacted with residents of Mpape and its environs, they gathered that this was not the first time the shaking has occurred but has happened five years ago”.
The D-G appealed to the residents of the affected area to remain calm as the agency was doing all within its powers to bring the situation under control within the shortest time.
He, however, said that there was need for residents to relocate to a safer zone if living in a building during the tremor.
He urged the residents to vacate their houses and take cover under desks or tables and hold tight until the shake is over.
He also said that residents should stay away from windows and objects that were likely to fall and also find a clear spot away from buildings, trees and power lines.
“ If you are in the car, slow down and drive to a clear place, stay in the car until the shaking stops.”
A resident in Maitama, Mr Victor Okoye who experienced the tremor, told NAN that he initially thought it was a blast from one of the quarry sites in Mpape which sometime happened but found out that it was not what he initially assumed.
“ When I came outside my house, I discovered it was indeed a shaking and a lot began to run through my mind as I thought the end of the world was here.”
Another resident in Mpape, Mrs Alice Adetola, expressed shock over the incident, adding that the experience terrified her children.
“ I held on to my children and began to pray to God for mercy. I even began to think towards relocating if we make it through the night.”
Also, Mr John Eson said the prompt response of FEMA to the area had assured residents that the situation was under control.
According to him, personnel of the agency have been on ground since the incident, carrying out investigations, survey and research.