General News Sun, 31 Oct 2004

Major earthquake in Accra expected?

Cape Coast, Oct.31 - The Cape Coast Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Muniru Arafat Nuhu on Friday observed that the upsurge in the number of minor earth tremors should give cause for concern.

He said the fear of major earthquake in Accra and its environs was more frightening since "not all the active faults in the country have been clearly located and mapped and for us to know the exact locations to prepare a seismic hazard map".

These were contained in an address read on his behalf at a forum organised by National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) to mark the celebration of World Disaster Day at Cape Coast.

Mr Arafat Nuhu said the existence of such a map would inform prospective estate developers to make the appropriate designs that could resist high degree of ground shaking.

He said a number of houses in the Municipality were owner-built with little or no engineering, which put the occupants to great risks in the event of an earthquake.

Mr Arafat, therefore, appealed to landlords to seek technical advice when building and create "emergency exits" to enable people to rush out with little difficulty during emergency.


Mr William Adjei-Banin, Regional Co-ordinator of NADMO, advocated regular workshops and symposia to sensitise the public about the damage, degradation and threats of extinction to life and property.

In a welcoming address, Mr Fiifi Sam, Municipal Coordinator of NADMO observed that effect of disaster could be reduced through the application of sound management principles and practices.

He, therefore, called for the strengthening of NADMO and its collaborating agencies charged with the responsibility of ensuring the health and safety of Ghanaians to ensure the vigorous enforcement of all laws and regulations on health hazards.

Mr Sam said the adherence to regulations on Environmental Impact Assessment was necessary but warned the Cape Coast Municipal assembly not to yield to pressures from some multi national companies for the release of the remaining forest reserves for mining activities. Mr Sam said the release of the reserves "will deprive us of our water bodies, wildlife, timber and other natural resources and jeopardize the future of the country".

The occasion was used to inaugurate a nine-member Cape Coast Municipal Disaster Management Committee with Mr Arafat Nuhu as the chairman.

Source: --