“My house in Abuja shook even more violently at 6:12 am this morning. This time, it was accompanied by a loud bang. Windows rattled and the dogs barked immediately. Again, a bit like a bomb,” said Joe Abah, the former chairman of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms.
Like Dr Abah, this has been the tale of many Nigerians who reside in the capital city of Abuja.
For about three days, unusual sounds, vibrations and movements at houses and offices, are a common occurrence especially in the morning.
Geologists say it is an earth tremor.
Earth tremors are a relatively small or short-lived movements of the earth'ssurface caused by the forces that produce earthquakes.
Simple as this may sound, most Abuja residents now live in fear of a possible earthquake.
"We’re on another level here in Abuja. We don’t need alarm clocks. Tremor wakes us up and jerks us off the bed,” a Twitter user, Nkiruka Okosisi said.
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Why is Abuja experiencing tremors?
At 4:39pm on Thursday, September 6, 2018, a massive 7.8 earthquake was recorded in Suva, capital of Fiji, a country in the South Pacific. This caused vibrations in other locations on the pacific rim of fire.
Due to the magnitude, echoes of the quake may cause tremors to occur in a location at the opposite end of the globe.
“Abuja is almost diametrically opposite Fiji. This is likely what happened. Nigeria is otherwise geologically stable,” said Sim Sayaga.
Quarrying activities have also contributed to the vibrations in the capital city.
Mpape or Maitama extension has experienced more vibrations than any other part of the city. Explosive materials are used to blast rocks in this area.
‘No cause for alarm’
The FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has dismissed fears of a possible earthquake in Abuja.
FEMA also urged residents to carry out some simple safety regulations while going about their daily activities.
Nigerians are, however, concerned about the readiness of emergency management agencies in the country to handle an earthquake situation.
"Whether what happened in Abuja was a tremor or not the thing is, if a bigger thing like an earthquake should happen how ready are we to be able to evacuate people and save a lot of lives? It's not about praying to God like we always like doing in this country but by taking steps," Abraham Attah advised.