NASRDA attributes recent tremor in Kaduna to passive sources

THE National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) has attributed the cause of the recent tremor in Jama Local Government Area of Kaduna State to passive sources.

In a press statement, Head Media and Corporate Communications of the agency, Dr Felix Ale, said the nature of the source would soon be determined after the completion of yet another ongoing thorough and further investigation of the incident by experts in the Space Agency.

According to him, the reports had established that the incident were recorded in Kwoi and surrounding villages of Nok, Sanbah and Chori, in Jama Local Government Area of Kaduna State, on Sunday, September 11 and Monday, 12.

The current findings was the outcome of a preliminary report by the team of experts immediately deployed to the affected communities from one of the activity centres of the Space Agency: The Centre for Geodesy and Geodynamics for on the spot assessment and to carry out a survey and investigation on the incident.

The team, led by the Head of Seismology division of the Space Agency, Dr Ofonime Akpan, was able to establish that the Seismological Station of NASRDA located at Kujama, in Kaduna State, accurately recorded the incident which made it easy for collation of data and early release of preliminary reports on  the incident.

The analysis showed that the first event occurred at 12:28:16.50 seconds GMT on Sunday, 11 of September, 2016 and the event has an epicentre located Latitude 9.825N and Longitude 7.885 E, while Local Magnitude was 2.6 and Moment Magnitude was 3.0 and Focal Depth was 10 kilometres.

The report further revealed that the second event occurred on Monday, 12 of September, 2016 at 03:10:48.80 seconds (GMT) with Local Magnitude of 2.6 and Moment Magnitude of 2.9 with Focal Depth of 10 kilometre, while the epicentre was Latitude 10.879N and Longitude 7.188E.

This was followed immediately by another event at 03:11:20.00 seconds (GMT) located at an epicentre of Latitude 9.927N and Longitude 7.297E, Local Magnitude 2.9 and Moment Magnitude 3.0.

The reports revealed that the time of occurrence of these events and intensities of the locations as reported by inhabitants of the communities which included cracks on walls of buildings, falling off of ceiling fans and other items corresponds with the results of analysis carried out by the team of experts from NASRDA’s Centre for Geodesy and Geodynamics.

The Space Agency has, therefore, appealed to residents of the various communities to remain calm, as no stone would be left unturned by the agency to unravel the situation, as more data were aggressively being collected from other seismological stations.

The Space Agency promised to make its detailed reports known to the public as soon as further investigations on the incident were completed.

The Centre for Geodesy and Geodynamics, located in Toro, Bauchi State, is one of the activity Centres of Excellence of the Space Agency located in different geo-political zones of the country.

The centre is charged specifically with the mandate of crustal and coastal deformation monitoring, seismic hazard evaluation and monitoring, as well as research in natural hazards like earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, subsistence, among others.

The NASRDA’s centre has successfully carried out several projects and research for national development, among which are series of investigations on peculiar geo-hazards in Nigeria, which include the application of Laser Technologies for Subsistence monitoring along the coastal lines of Lagos and Port Harcourt, Development of a geo-hazard map showing some areas that are susceptible to natural hazards.

It has also established what is globally known as the Nigeria National Network of Seismic Stations, located in Abuja, Kaduna, Ile-Ife, Awka, Abakaliki, Minna, Ibadan, Nsukka and Oyo town.

This, according to NASRDA, is to improve Seismic data acquisition and encourage more research activities regarding Seismicity in Nigeria, particularly in times like this.