An earth tremor measuring 2.6 on the Richter Scale hit parts of Accra at 5:01 p.m. on Sunday, January 13, 2019, the Ghana Geological Survey Authority (GGSA) has confirmed.
The tremor, which lasted about six seconds, occurred about 18 km away from the Achimota Station of the GGSA, according to the reading on the seismometer there, which also showed that the epicentre of the tremor was around Weija.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic yesterday, a senior seismologist at the GSA, Mr Nicholas Opoku, said the magnitude of the tremor was put at 2.6 because “at the moment only one of our stations is working”.
He was grateful to the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) for installing the equipment free of charge in October 2018 after an international workshop on seismic hazard assessment last year, but said because the reading was done from only one station, the authority could only give an estimate of the magnitude.
“So for the event that occurred in December 2018 and what occurred yesterday, it was this station that gave us some information,” Mr Opoku said.
“We have several stations in Ghana and if all these stations were working, we could have even given information as soon as it happened and known the exact location and the exact magnitude,” he stated.
According to the senior seismologist, having more tremors, as had occurred in the past few months, did not give any clue as to when an earthquake might occur again and what its magnitude would be.
“Even though these small ones are happening, we don’t know whether they are an indication that something is going to happen anytime soon. We don’t know whether it will take some time before a bigger one will come.
So we are not very sure when a major one will come,” Mr Opoku said.
He, however, advised people living in earthquake-prone areas to take precautionary measures by reducing human activities in areas with active fault lines.
They could also build earthquake-resistant structures in areas considered good for habitation or retrofit already existing structures which were weak, so that they would be able to withstand any earth movements, he said.
Mr Opoku said while the GGSA was still awaiting legislation to enforce some building codes, it was engaged in a series of workshops and meetings with the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) aimed at addressing the challenges in earthquake-prone areas of the country.