FG bans quarrying activities in Abuja, probes earth tremor

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Following the earth tremor in Mpape, Jabi, Gwarinpa and other parts of Maitama District of Abuja last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, the Federal Government has suspended blasting of rocks in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The incident had generated palpable panic among the residents who earlier thought the violent earth movement was the usual sounds from quarries until it persisted.

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The development forced many high-placed citizens to fling the gates of their luxurious homes open as they scampered for safety. A good number of residents had described also the movement a “serious ground vibration.”

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But in a statement yesterday in Abuja, the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bawa Bwari, said the move became imperative to monitor tremor in the affected areas.

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He said: “The attention of the ministry has been drawn to reports of earth tremor within Abuja, specifically in and around Mpape, Jabi, Gwarinpa and other parts of the capital city.”

According to him, following this development, the Nigeria Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) had commenced investigation by sending a team of experts to the affected sites for an on-the-spot assessment.

“In view of this, the ministry has directed the suspension of all blasting activities in and around the affected areas till the completion of investigation,” he stated.

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Bwari explained that though initial results indicate mild earth tremor, “the public is hereby assured of safety of life and property since initial findings show little or no threat to lives.”

He said in unraveling what triggered the tremor, it was wise to halt blasting activities around the effected areas.

The minister noted: “Even though we would not say the tremor experienced may have to do with excavations around until investigations are completed.”

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He recalled that two years ago there was a similar incident in Kwoi, adding: “They (experts) have taken samples to aid their job and there was need by the government to stop all excavation and mining activities to enable them do a good job.”

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Bwari said since the world was experiencing climate change, some of the unusual incidents could be natural occurrences not envisaged.

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