Residents of Mpape, a hilly suburb of Abuja, went into panic following what they described as ‘serious ground vibration’ that lasted from Wednesday afternoon to midnight.
Many of the residents spoken to said they initially thought the vibration was as a result of the usual quarry activity in the area until it persisted.
Mpape, which is few kilometres from Maitama, is home to several quarries.
Residents in Eneje Street, Masafa Road, Berger Quarry and Area One areas in the community said the ground shook intermittently for a long period, raising fears of an earthquake.
“When it started we thought it was normal rock activity. But after a point we realised that it was abnormal,” a resident, Amos Uchenna, said. He said he was at his shop at Crown Plaza in the community when the two storey building started ‘vibrating.’
“We thought the building wanted to collapse. It happened at about four times when I was at the shop,” he added.
Uchenna said, when he got to his residence at Eneje Street, the vibration continued which made many people afraid of going to bed due to the incidents.
“Later we went to sleep but it happened again. The ground vibrated so much that the ceiling almost came down,” he said.
Another resident, Onyeka Chukwu, said the vibration damaged some goods in his shop.
Chukwu said some gas burners fell and were damaged while the vibration lasted.
“The first time that it happened, I thought it was normal but when it happened again, I was afraid that I almost ran out of the shop. I have been here for seven years, it has not happened like that before,” he said.
Commenting on the incidents, the Director Economic Geology at the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA), Dr Abdulrazaq Garba said the agency was aware of the vibration at the Mpape hill and had sent a team to pick coordinate/samples from the area for further analysis.
“We may not be able to say anything now; I can assure you that when the team comes back, we will give proper information. Because based on our work, there are some technical things we have to look at to be able say, there was a tremor there. Normally, there are some things that can occur but there must be a scientific interpretation,” he said.
The FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also called on residents in the Federal Capital Territory to remain calm over the recent earth-shaking which occurred around Mpape and some parts of Maitama districts in Abuja.
FEMA’s Director General Mallam Abbass Idriss, in a statement, said the possible cause of the earth-shaking might be as a result of earth tremor.
While advising residents to observe some safety tips when such shakings occur, Idriss said “we are on top of the situation and shall keep them [residents] informed of any development.”