Panic grips Bayelsa over earthquake alert

Panic grips Bayelsa over earthquake alert

- Fear has gripped people of Bayelsa states over earthquake alert

- The alarm and warning was given by NASRDA

- Concerned stakeholders have appealed to government to provide a solution

Fear has gripped the people of Bayelsa state following the alert of possible earthquake raised by the Nigerian Space Research Development Agency (NASRDA) in five states among which Bayelsa is among, Vanguard reports gathers that over the last four years in the neighbouring Rivers state, instances of earth tremor have been recorded around Biseni and Igbgene area of Yenagoa local government and border communities of Ahoada local government, resulting to cracking of building and fear among the community dwellers.

This has raised concern among the stakeholders under the aegis of Ijaw Professionals Association (IPA), homeland chapter, who are seeking the attention of both Bayelsa and federal governments to the life-threatening ecological emergencies in Rivers, Delta and Bayelsa state.

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Iniruo Wills, one of the concerned stakeholders, said: "The development is adding a new and troubling dimension to the mortal cocktail of environmental hazards faced by the Ijaws and the Niger Delta peoples.

“The authorities should direct and adequately fund the Nigerian Geological Surveys Agency (GSA) to commission or conduct in consultation with concerned state governments a thorough study to monitor and predict earthquake flash points and adequately prepare to avert or deal with any event or risk of earthquakes and tremors, to avoid the national threat and shame of being caught napping as with the recurrent flood disasters."

Wills, who is a former commissioner for information and environment, expressed displeasure over the inactiveness of ministries of environment in the three states, adding that they lacked robust data management platform to resolve difficult environmental issues.

Speaking on the development, the project office head of Niger Delta Resource Centre (NDRC), Alagoa Morris, said: "The warning needs to be taken seriously; especially if we juxtapose the example of boreholes for water (as adduced by the NASRDA) and years of drilling for crude oil and gas in the Niger Delta environment and the millions of barrels of crude oil extracted daily from the environment of communities).

“As important as every part of Nigeria is, the pronouncement is even more worrisome when one considers the fact that Igbogene, a community in Yenagoa local government area of Bayelsa state is so listed among likely locations that will experience the earthquake in the country."

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Meanwhile, previously reported that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) had declared a ‘national disaster’ in Kogi, Anambra, Delta and Niger, following high levels of flooding in the states.

Mustapha Maihaja, NEMA director-general made the declaration during an assessment visit to River Niger on Monday, September 17, in Lokoja.

Maihaja said that eight other states were also on NEMA’s watch list. He explained that the states were experiencing the high levels of flooding as a result of heavy rainfall experienced in some parts of the country.

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