The morning of Friday, September 7, was a scary one for some residents of the Federal Capital Territory in Nigeria, Abuja, after they experienced several earth shakes.

They were afraid there could be an earthquake, but the government has at different occasions assured them of safety. 

After the earthquake occurred the FCT Emergency Management Agency gave tips of what people should do when such tremors occur, one of which was to 'hold something'. 

Investigation was launched immediately into the incident most felt in Mpape, Garki and Gwarimpa and a few early reports have emerged. 

The Minister of the FCT,  Mr Muhammad Bello, visited Mpape over the weekend and afterwards issued a statement on the incident. 

He said preliminary reports indicated that the activities of rock blasting from quarrying, mining activities, as well as proliferation of borehole drilling were likely causes of these tremors.

After his visit to Mpape, the epicentre of reported incidents of earth tremors, he took some decision that would now affect borehole drilling in the areas affected. 

Water is one essential resource, but Nigerians have had to rely on their own pockets for decades, providing themselves water from the borehole in their compounds. 

Abuja is not left out of this failure of  the nation to maintain a central water system for the entire public.  

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After a look at preliminary report, Mr Bello stressed that it became necessary to suspend all quarrying activities in various sites of Abuja, especially Mpape, Garki, Gwarimpa and contiguous areas. 

The statement by the Minister by the spokesman for the ministry, Cosmas Uzodinma, released by Aso Rock on Monday said the suspension would be effective until the Minister receives the outcome of further investigations on the root causes of the tremor. 

'No Cause For Alarm'

Speaking, on behalf of the FCT Minister, the FCT Permanent Secretary, Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa, advised residents of the affected areas to rest assured residents that there was no cause for alarm, noting that geological experts have counselled that Abuja was not on the line of any major seismic danger.

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Mr Bello asked residents to go about all their businesses while disclosing that the Administration is engaging both local and international geological experts, in order to unravel the root causes of the earth tremors experienced in parts of Abuja in recent times.

Responding to the FCT Minister’s address, the District Head of Mpape, Mr Abubakar Gimba, as well as the Chairman of Mpape Residents Associations, Mr Ameh Christian, recounted that the community had experienced tremors in the past, but that the recent incident was more pronounced.

They thanked the FCT Administration for its prompt response to the incident while acknowledging the presence of the FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Mr Gimba noted that the assurances given by the Administration would go a long way to calm the residents and assuage fears of immediate and impending disaster.

Meanwhile, the FCT Emergency Management Agency has urged the public to contact FEMA on its 112 toll free emergency number and some other numbers in case of any emergency situation.

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