PGhana Geological Survey Authority (GGSA) has confirmed what it describes as a “moderate earthquake” in Accra with a 3.9 magnitude on a Richter scale.
The incident happened last Saturday at about 11:22 p.m. and was felt 15 kilometres away from Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), where the Survey Authority’s equipment is located.
It was felt in the usual places like Weija, Gbawe and McCarthy Hill, in the Ga South Municipality. It was also experienced in other areas such as Sowutuom, Old Kasoa Barrier, New Bortianor, Awoshie, Abelemkpe, Tabora, Achimota, Ablekuma, Kissiman, Westland, Larterbiokorshie and Legon.
According to a GGSA senior official, Nicholas Opoku, the 3.9 magnitude recorded “is the highest in 2019.”
He said the Survey Authority recorded 2.6 magnitude on the Richter scale in January 13, 2019 and 2.8 in February 25, 2019 with the third pointing to increasing seismic activity within Accra.
“As for bigger earthquakes, one day it will come,” he said in an interview with Joy News, adding, “but as to when, was always a problem seismologists have not been able to unravel.”
He said within the seismological community, increasing magnitude could mean the worst was ahead, while others argue, the worst could be behind.
Mr Opoku said the best way to handle an earthquake was to “build resilience”, and explained that, Ghana would have to take a closer look at areas where the risk was very high, and consider evacuation.
Research work dating back to 1981 indicates that most of the earthquakes in Ghana occur in the western part of Accra at the junction of the two major fault systems namely, the coastal boundary fault and Akwapim fault zone.
According to the research, most of the epicentres are located south of Weija, suggesting that, there is little activity north-eastward, along the Akwapim range, and westward, along the coastal boundary fault.
The magnitude recorded so far in 2019 is still a distance from 6.5 magnitude, highest ever recorded in 1939 in which 17 were killed in Accra.