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Fear of earthquake grips Rivers communities

By News Express on 13/08/2016

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Residents of several communities in Rivers State are currently living in palpable fear of deadly earthquake that may affect more than 10 communities cutting across not less than two local government areas in Rivers and Bayelsa states.

It will be recalled that on June 26 this year an earth tremor hit the sleepy communities of Joinkrama and Akaro-Olu in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers state, which led to big cracks in buildings, sank many houses and caused serious panic among the residents.

The paramount ruler of Edagberi community, HRH Jacob Sunny Ubele, said the incident had occurred severally and “we are afraid that there may be earthquake in this community anytime soon. In 2011, we experienced it and up till this moment, nobody has come to our aid.”

“It was a very terrible experienced that night of June 26. The sound of the tremor was unprecedented. All the buildings were shaking that midnight and people ran out of their houses thinking that the end of the world had finally come,” Ubele said.

The monarch while speaking with our correspondent who visited the community for facts finding on Thursday recounted that the entire community had been abandoned despite its vast contribution to the national economy.

According to him, “In this community, Edagberi alone, we have 46 oil wells and 22,000 barrels of crude oil is produced here every day. That is big money for the Nigerian government. Why then can’t they come and help us from this imminent disaster?”

Mrs Blessing Maclean, an aged trader, decried the effect of the incident to her petty business. Speaking through an interpreter, she said “that day was terrible. I have never seen a thing like that. The sound of the tremor was enough to frighten everybody out of their homes.”

“We all thought the end of the world has come. Little children were crying and people were running in all directions not knowing where to go to. My portion at the Edagberi market was destroyed. If you move to end of the community, you will see a building that has collapsed due to the effect of the tremor,” she said.

On his part, the deputy paramount ruler of Joinkarama, Chief Ominigiri Sam, explained that the situation was a confirmation of the “end of the world we have been told. We are still living in fear. Nobody knows what happens next. That is why both government and the oil companies must come and help us urgently.”

When contacted, the caretaker Chairman of the Ahoada West Local Government Area, Hon Jerry Gabriel, laid the blame on the oil companies that he said have been doing oil business in the area for more than fifty years, yet have not done enough to help the people.

“The oil companies should as a matter of urgency deploy expert to the area to deal with the issue of the consistent earth tremor in Ahoada West. This may even affect some part of Bayelsa state.  We need help and we need that very urgently,” he said.

The council boss indicted the multinational oil companies for their inability to provide sufficient infrastructure in the local government area to ease the problem of the area, adding that in this season of flood, “the oil companies should also help by way of contending with the flood.”

•Sourced from Independent. Photo shows effect of earth tremor.

Source News Express

Posted 13/08/2016 12:40:12 PM

 

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