Ghana susceptible to earthquakes – Experts warn

Sika Togoh
Sika Togoh
4 Min Read

Two Senior Lecturers at the Department of Earth Science at the University of Ghana have indicated that Ghana sits on red lines geographically and is susceptible to earthquakes depending on earth movements.

The revelations comes on the back of earth tremors happening sporadically over the years as recorded by experts at the Ghana Geological Survey Authority.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Universnews, Senior Lecturer at the Earth Science Department, Dr Prince Ofori Amponsah intimated research data gathered from seismic stations in the country shows that the highest magnitude recorded from earth tremors was 6.0 to 6.6 for 5 different years .

He added that overtime, the various earth tremors recorded in different parts of the country since 1997 , show that the country is susceptible to earthquakes.

” Seismically, the highest magnitude ever recorded in Ghana was 6.0 to 6.6 which happened in five different years across different locations since the first official earthquake was recorded in 1615 in Elmina, Axim(1636), Accra(1882),Ho(1906) and Accra again in 1939 ,which was recorded with visual pictures as part of data collected.

These earth tremors paint a picture that the occurrence of earthquakes in Ghana is not an impossibility due to red lines and fracture lines dotted across the country , the southeastern parts of the country have mobile belts are earth components which move underground and not readily visible to the naked eye and the movement of such belts build up pressure underneath the earth and the attendant pressures can result in an earthquake.

There also also seismic monitors deployed in parts of the country to record such movements in the earth and how to inform which zones are active in terms of earthquakes occurring”.

Also, Dr Nunoo reiterated that the Department of Earth Science and development partners through the Copanic  Research Project has embarked on sensitization tours and liaising with the relevant government agencies within the space to get more resources channeled into well developed policies to mitigate consequences of any earthquake occurring in the country or developing a watertight policy response to such eventualities.

” In terms of policy , let me indicate that the earthquake experienced in 1939, in Ghana was also experienced in Turkey and very devastating in equal measure , and we can do an analysis with the current one which occurred in Ataturk and other parts of that country must send signals to Ghana as a country that , since we have been recording earth tremors intermittently over the year, there is a real possibility of an earthquake occurring in Ghana.

As part of policy advocacy and our work with development partners through the Copanic Research project, we are bringing together stakeholders and policy makers as well as the general public to sensitize them of general knowledge on earth quake related issues including agencies like NADMO and the Geological Survey Authority to help develop watertight policy responses to the case of any eventuality of such occurrences in Ghana.

For now, i will say that the policy preparedness and responsiveness of the country is way below average and more needs to be done in terms of chaneling resources and human resource together to study the phenomenon of earthquakes and advise government accordingly.

It is very important to be strategically ready as a country for any eventuality particularly given our geographical location and the very little time it takes for earth tremors overtime to result in catastrophic earthquakes which will cause mass destruction to lives and property”.

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