By Luka Binniyat & Ebele Orakpo
KADUNA— Experts, yesterday, warned Nigerians to brace up for more earth tremors, following a resurgence of the phenomenon at Koi, Kaduna State, the second in 24 hours.
A seismologist, Professor Alexander Lar of the Department of Geology, University of Jos, said Nigerians should brace up for more earth tremors and probably an earthquake.
He said: “We will see increased frequency of earth tremors occurring and Nigeria stands the risk of having a big earthquake because the system is dynamic.
“We do not know what is happening in the sub-surface but we know it is evolving everyday, so there is a possibility that things like this could happen.”
Lar said the area where the tremor took place must be within the so-called Basement of Nigeria, adding that this could have occurred along some areas that had not been found yet.
“We do not even know. We know that we have major lineaments, just like the one in Zungeru within the basement where you have two slabs, one sliding and movement is taking place,” he said.
According to him, earthquakes occur at places called faults where the jagged edges of two tectonic plates grind against each other.
He explained: “As the tectonic plates move in slow motion, sometimes two grinding plates suddenly jolt into a new position and the energy released by this movement creates an earthquake. So earthquakes result from the release of energy along faults.”
Areas prone to earthquake in Nigeria
Lar listed areas prone to earthquake in Nigeria to include the fault systems (zones), including the NNE-SSW trending fault systems cutting across Ifewara, Zungeru, Anka and Kalangai linking up to the Atlantic Ocean fracture systems.
According to him, it is a zone of concern and the areas at the proximity of these fault systems are at risk of earthquake/tremor.
He said the Lagos-Ibadan-Ijebu-Ode fault system was another belt where an earth tremor was witnessed in July and August 1984, stressing that these fault systems could serve as a zone of weakness for the propagation of shocks from far away plate boundaries.
He said other zones of potential seismic risk were the Cretaceous Benue Sedimentary Basin and the adjacent Jos-Biu-Longuda plateaux.
Lar noted that Nigeria was located in a so-called stable Pre-Cambrain–Paleozoic age Basement terrain, believed to be seismically safe.
Koi experiences more earth vibrations
Meanwhile, the vibrations that rattled Koi, headquarters of Jaba Local Government Area of Kaduna State, about 250km South of Kaduna metropolis, continued all through Sunday night, locals and government officials confirmed to Vanguard, yesterday.
According to local sources at Koi, after the initial two vibrations in the rocky town that occurred between 10:30 am and 12:30 pm on Sunday, the ancient town, which had an aerodrome as early as 1929 for Christian missionaries, the vibrations continued till sunrise yesterday though accounts differ on the timing.
The town, however, is calm, with its weary indigenous population taking rests outside their homes, after a handful of non-natives fled in panic.
With no explanation to offer on the strange development, youths of the town staged a procession to the palace of Kpop Ham, demanding explanation and asking for relief measures to be put in place.
The Chairman, Caretaker Committee of Jaba LGA, Mr. Ben Kure, confirmed the development to our correspondent.
He said: “The good news is that there is no casualty recorded. But the walls of old buildings have cracked badly and our people are really disturbed. I thank God nobody was injured.
“In the morning, youths who had no idea of what was happening wanted to make an issue out of it and they marched to our traditional leader’s palace. I went there to address them with a geologist.
“We convinced them that it was a natural occurrence and that the state government was ready for any emergency that may arise from the earth movement.
“For those who saw it as a sign of end of time, I told them it may also be a possibility because the Holy Bible has already said it. I then called on them all to desist from sins and worship in true faith the Alighty God.”
Speaking to Vangaurd, a geologist, Ishaya Dan Azumi, said the rocks faults lines at Koi were undergoing re-alignment.
According to him, the rainy season has made rain water permeate lines, thus lubricating them for a movement.