Are we ready for an earthquake disaster?

Some residents of Accra yesterday experienced an earth tremor that shook many parts of the city.

The Ghana Geological Survey Authority confirmed that many parts of Accra were affected by three earth tremors.

It said the nature of the incident was an indication of an imminent major earthquake.

The Authority also said the tremors were made up of a fore shock, which struck at 10:48 pm and measures 3.7 on the Richter scale, then the main shock which occurred at 10:54 pm and measured 4.2 on the Richter scale.

It was followed by the aftershock at 10:57 pm which measured 3.5 on the Richter scale.

According to the Authority, the source of the tremors was strongly believed to be the coast of Dansoman Beach and estimated to be between 200 and 500 metres into the sea.

It pointed out that Accra was a major earthquake prone zone with active fault lines which meant a major quake was definitely ahead but explained that there was no way of telling when this major tremor would happen.

Many people who are familiar with earthquake activities around the southern coast of Accra would not be surprised at what happened on Wednesday.

Accra already has a history of earthquakes although Ghana is far away from major earthquake zones of the world.

It is on record that Ghana has experienced damaging earthquakes dating as far back as 1615 and there has been three major occurrences in 1862, 1906 and 1939.

Historical records indicate that the country recorded earthquakes of magnitude greater than 6.0 and tremors with magnitudes ranging from 1.0 to 4.8 on a Richter scale.

Available records show that most of the earthquakes in Ghana occur in the western part of Accra at the junction of two major fault systems namely, the coastal boundary fault and Akuapem fault zone. 

According to the records, most of the epicenters are located south of Weija suggesting that there is little activity north-west along the Akuapem range and west ward along the coastal boundary fault.

The scenario painted by the Geological Department is an indication that there could be an earthquake any time soon.

The question is: Is the country ready when it strikes?

The Ghanaian Times do not think so. This is because, there appears not to be any plans to manage earthquakes in the country.

If there is, we urge the relevant authorities to begin to educate the public on the dos and don’ts when earthquakes strikes.

We must not wait for disaster to strike before we find solutions to it.

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